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Disappointing Energy Savings for Energy Star Homes

A Houston study shows that homes without an Energy Star label perform almost as well as Energy Star homes

Posted on Feb 25 2011 by Martin Holladay

If you’re interested in residential energy efficiency, you’re probably familiar with the marketing pitch of the EPA’s Energy Star HomesA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program to promote the construction of new homes that are at least 15% more energy-efficient than homes that minimally comply with the 2004 International Residential Code. Energy Star Home requirements vary by climate. program.

Among the program’s claims:

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Building Plans for the Energy Star Thermal Bypass Checklist

How to Build an Energy Star Home: Construction Details That Help You to Build Tight Houses — The First Time

Complete Energy Star thermal bypass inspection

Air leaks waste a lot of energy.
Air leaks not only mean significant heat loss, but they also can let moisture into the house. Years of testing and field experience indicate that many houses share design or building flaws that allow heat to enter or leave the building and increase the cost of heating and cooling. The EPA's Energy StarLabeling system sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy for labeling the most energy-efficient products on the market; applies to a wide range of products, from computers and office equipment to refrigerators and air conditioners. program calls these "thermal bypasses," and has compiled a list of the most common ones into a thermal bypass checklist. Using the checklist can help you get the most bang for your air-sealing buck.

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