For decades, the norm for ceiling height was 8 feet. And then came McMansion mania. Foyers and family rooms soared to two stories. Balconies overlooked downstairs rooms. They made homes look impressive and grand.
But downstairs was often cold because heat rose to the ceiling. Upstairs was noisy because TV and other sounds rose, too.
Thanks to the demand for better energy efficiency and more efficient use of space, ceilings have been trending downward.
“Energy efficient” has described homes for years. But how could you determine what “energy efficient” really meant, much less how much savings it could mean to you? Thanks to the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, energy efficiency is now measurable.
Much like calculating MPG in a car, HERS is a nationally recognized system that analyzes energy performance in new and used homes. Lower scores mean higher efficiency and greater savings.
Winter’s here. And we’re telling our furnaces how warm we want to be and when. Or are we?
Residential thermostats control a staggering 9% of all energy use in the US. Closer to our wallets, dialing up the temperature increases energy bills. Conversely, dialing it down lowers them. How much?
The Department of Energy says, "You can save 5 percent to 15 percent a year on your heating bill -- a savings of as much as 1 percent for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long."
It didn’t take recent surveys by the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors for us to know that energy efficiency tops the list of what buyers want in their homes. We’ve been building energy efficient features into every home we build long before “energy efficiency” entered our vocabulary.
And advances in building technology means that energy efficiency in new homes keeps getting better. The Department of Energy provides proof.
Batman and Robin. Washers and dryers. Who can imagine one without the other?
Yet until recently, washers and dryers lived in separate worlds when it came to energy efficiency. Energy Star washers have been around for years, but Energy Star dryers didn’t exist.
All that changed last May when the EPA announced its new Energy Star label for dryers. The new specifications will recognize dryers that will use about 20% less energy than dryers that meet the Department of Energy’s 2015 minimum efficiency standards.