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20 Tips for Building a New House
- Insulate roof and attic areas to R-49.
- Insulate above finish grade exterior walls and rim joist/box sill areas to R-21.
- Insulate below finish grade exterior walls to R-10.
- Purchase an energy truss system for the roof.
- Reduce unintended air infiltration by carefully sealing around all joints and penetrations.
- Design rooms to take advantage of day lighting.
- Choose ENERGY STAR rated windows.
- Construct a house with a maximum of 12% window area to wall area.
- Install energy efficient fluorescent light fixtures, where possible.
- Install high efficiency condensing furnaces or boilers with outside combustion air and exhaust. Another option is geothermal/heat pumps with ratings of 4.0 COP (coefficient of performance).
- Select insulated entrance doors of R-5 or greater.
- Install a tankless water heater or a natural gas water heater with an energy factor (EF) of .62 or greater. Install electric water heaters with an energy factor (EF) of .95.
- When landscaping, plant deciduous trees that can shade the house. Plant windbreaks to shield your house from the winter wind.
- Select air conditioners and heat pumps that qualify for the ENERGY STAR rating. The ENERGY STAR logo indicates a high efficiency product.
- To maintain indoor air quality, select a controlled ventilation system or heat recovery ventilator.
- Properly size heating and cooling ducts that have all joints and connections properly sealed.
- Purchase ENERGY STAR appliances - refrigerator, dishwasher, and clothes washer. The ENERGY STAR logo indicates a high efficiency product.
- Consider a solar-assist, hot water system either for domestic hot water or to assist a home heating system.
- Purchase a programmable thermostat that can automatically lower your temperature at night and when you are away.
- Have your home certified as an ENERGY STAR home by having an energy rating done by a qualified home energy rater. The Energy Office provides a list of home energy raters . We also have a list of builders who have already built an ENERGY STAR home.