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Energy Efficient New Townhouses – the Ideal Solution!
June 17, 2012
The new trend in urban planning around the country has a focus on density. Where there used to be wide lots and low-level dwellings, new designs pack a lot more into a square mile than was built during the housing boom of the 1950′s.
One of the trends is the construction of new townhouses – dwellings that are separate but contain common walls, roofs, and floors.
The good news is that a townhouse has certain built-in characteristics that contribute to energy efficiency. Shared walls mean a center unit dwelling has only two sides that are exposed to the elements; this inherently helps to contain heat energy in a unit.
By taking advantage of the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) during construction, new townhouses can be built to maximize all areas of energy efficiency. HERS was developed by RESNET and is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured.
RESNET Qualified EnergySmart Builders use the highest standards of materials and techniques in order to create energy efficient homes. There are many features that can be incorporated during the construction of new townhouses that will provide an enhanced level of home comfort combined with energy savings. For example:
- Install EnergyStar rated appliances: By installing EnergyStar rated appliances in the kitchen and laundry room, you have already paved the way for energy savings.
- Proper insulation: Properly insulating the attic and exposed walls will make sure you don’t have heat escaping in the winter and cool air being lost during the summer. A RESNET Qualified EnergySmart Contractor will be able to provide you with the information to select the correct amount and type of insulation needed.
- Air sealing: The thermal envelope of your home should be properly sealed to ensure you aren’t wasting money through air exchange with the outdoors.
- Install energy efficient windows and doors: One of the most common ways of losing heat or cool air is through improperly sealed doors and windows. Use EnergyStar rated materials to ensure tight seal around window and doorframes.
- Install a high-efficiency furnace: This is an important feature of new townhouses that could save homeowners hundreds of dollars per year.
- Make sure ducts are properly sealed: A qualified contractor will make sure all ducts and vents are properly sealed before your furnace is even put into operation. Properly sealed ductwork provides an efficient transfer of air through the townhouse.
While rows of new townhouses are usually built as one large unit, you do have a say in construction once you have made the decision to purchase.
Having a certified RESENT Home Energy Professional on your side will ensure your new townhouse will have the optimum level of energy efficiency and provide years of savings and improved comfort in your new home.
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