Local and national builders of Austin homes like KB Homes, Lennar Homes, Wilshire Homes and many others are adapting to the latest demand from home buyers: energy efficiency and Green building.

Energy Star Ratings on New Homes

Since 2007, Energy Star Ratings on new homes have become increasingly important to prospective buyers when shopping for a home. The savings for homeowners who purchase energy efficient homes is significant, especially during the summers in warm climates like Austin. Home builders are realizing that the investment of using green materials and building well-insulated homes has become a very good selling point and just makes good sense.

How Austin Home Builders Achieve a High Energy Rating

To acheive a high rating, a home must be built to stringent insulation guidelines with regard to materials and workmanship. Below are a few examples of ways builders can meet the criteria:

Energy Efficient Windows

Windows with double panes should be used instead of single pane to keep cool air in during the summer months, and keep your home nice and toasty in the winter time.

Lighter Color Roofing Materials

When it comes to roofing, simply using light color roofing materials to reflect light instead of dark materials that absorb light can go a long way toward energy efficiency. Reflective roofing and a radiant barrier can lower heat in the attic that slows down heat transfer.

Well Sealed HVAC Ducts

HVAC ducts have to be properly sealed and testing must be done to ensure proper flow of air to each room. Air ducts are checked for leakage by an inspector before closing to make sure the home is energy efficient.

Stone Exterior Walls Are a Big Plus

A big bonus toward a high energy rating comes from homes that are built of stone or cement walls.  Homes like this are great for energy efficiency in that it takes heat or cold longer to penetrate the material to enter the home, and maintains internal home temperatures.

Austin Builders Go Green

Generally speaking, if your home was built to Green building standards, there’s a great chance it was also built to Energy Efficiency standards. By definition, a GREEN home is one that is built with eco–friendly materials and products.

Consumers in purchasing a home look for the Energy Star Rating to help you make your decision to purchase a new home. It could save you a lot of money over time in reduced energy bills. Get your Energy Savings Audit done by a reputable auditor. If you are looking for any home that has been audited look for the energy star sign.which participating builders proudly display.

Okay, so you’ve got an energy efficient home.  Great, but don’t stop there! Don’t forget about the impact of energy-efficient appliances. Washer and dryer, refrigerator,microwave, and hot water heaters can be bought with Energy Star ratings. If you have natural gas in the home, it is recommended that you use a tank-less water heater. It is more expensive but it usually pays for itself after a few years.

There are so many other things you can do. Check with Energy Star for additional details.  If you have any questions about what it takes for a builder to become certified as a Green builder, or for more on the details that encompass an energy-efficient home, please do not hesitate to contact me for your Austin real estate needs.


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