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How to Cut Your Energy Bills

You know you live in Johnstown when it’s July and I am already reading articles about how to cut energy bills!  Living in PA, we are all fully aware of how the winter can hit us hard and long.  According to a new article “The homebuilding method you’ve never heard of that cuts energy bills up to 60 percent,” recently release by www.morning-times.com, for people building new homes in the coming months, the ever-increasing pain of monthly utility bills for cooling and heating their homes has them looking for more energy-efficient construction methods. In 2014, homeowners have been burdened with electricity costs that rose 5 percent, heating oil 7 percent and natural gas 10 percent, as reported in USA Today.  At the same time, homebuilders are challenged to meet increasingly stringent energy codes imposed by cities and counties.

Most homes in North America are built using a technique that has remained essentially unchanged for more than a century. So-called “stick construction” using hundreds of pieces of lumber is notoriously difficult to make energy efficient. The problem is, numerous gaps in the structure provide paths for heated air to leak out and insulation in such homes tends to be spotty, rather than continuous across walls and ceilings.  To overcome these limitations, more builders and homeowners are using an advanced building product called structural insulated panels (SIPs). The panels are made of a rigid insulating foam core that has stiff wood panels laminated to it. SIPs are engineered to be stronger than stick construction, and are much more energy efficient.

 

While I was at the National Home Builders Show in Las Vegas this past spring I actually saw the SIP panels and was impressed but realized as a modular/system-built homebuilder we already have energy efficiency covered!   Modular/System-built homes are by their very nature “green.”  It starts with where our homes are being  manufactured.  All of our houses are built indoors in a controlled environment uninterrupted by inclement weather.  This allows for a tighter built structure to maximize energy efficiency and also lessens the environmental impact  on the land and the community where the house is being delivered.  Since our houses must travel to their final destination, the house must withstand the rigor of being transported to the building site.  This requires more accurate construction and again a stronger structure that in the end lessens the path for heat in the winter or cool air in the summer to escape.  Every DB Home is constructed to be eligible to receive the ENERGY STAR (a division of the Environmental Protection Agency)  label that certifies energy efficiency.   DB Homes backs this up with high efficiency heating and cooling systems, including the option of a geothermal heating/cooling system.  Our homes regularly exceed the standards put in place by ENERGY STAR.  Finally, a home energy rating is an analysis of a home’s energy efficiency; as per the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. The HERS Index is the nationally recognized scoring system for measuring a home’s energy performance. Based on the results, an energy-rated home will receive a HERS Index Score.The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that a typical resale home scores 130 on the HERS Index while a standard new home is rated at 100.The average HERS score for DB Homes is  49 which is 51% more efficient than the minimum code built home.

So when the cold winter returns (as it always does in Johnstown! Sometimes as early as August) and the energy bills start  piling up,  consider buying an energy efficient DB Home!

 

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