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Why We Prefer Energy Star Qualified Appliances

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm by admin No Comment

EnergyStarLogoAt J.W. York Homes, we believe the entire home should be energy efficient, including the appliances! Read here why we specify Energy Star qualified appliances. 

Energy Star® Appliances

Adapted by  Janie L. Harris, M.Ed., CRS

Energy Star®-labeled appliances save you money by using less electricity and water than other appliances. Better appliance energy efficiency comes from quality materials and technologically advanced materials.

Although energy efficient models sometimes cost more to purchase initially, any extra up-front cost can often be made up with savings on your utility bill. One helpful way to figure out if buying an Energy Star® appliance makes sense for you is to think of two price tags.

The first price tag is the purchase price that you pay at the store when you buy the appliance. Some local utilities offer rebates on the purchase and installation of Energy Star® rated appliances. If yours does, this would reduce the initial price.

The second price tag is the cost to operate the appliance over its lifetime. You pay to operate the appliance every month for as long as you own the appliance. You might be surprised to see how much it can cost to own an appliance that seems like a good deal up front.

What is an Energy Star® Appliance?

The Energy Star® may be found on clothes washers, refrigerators, dishwashers, and room air conditioners. An appliance receives the Energy Star® rating if it is significantly more energy efficient than the minimum government standards, as determined by standard testing procedures. The amount by which an appliance must exceed the minimum standards is different for each product rated, and depends on available technology. Energy Star® rated products are always among the most efficient available today.

Energy Star® clothes washer

Energy Star® clothes washers use superior designs that require less water to get clothes thoroughly clean. These machines use sensors to match the hot water needs to the load, preventing energy waste.

There are two designs: top-loading and front-loading.

Both designs will get clothes cleaner and take better care of your fabrics, while using less water and energy than standard washing machines.

Front-loading Energy Star® models are similar in design to washers used in laundromats. These horizontal-axis or tumble-action machines repeatedly lift and drop clothes, instead of moving clothes around a central axis.

Top-loading Energy Star® washers use sensor technology to closely control the incoming water temperature. To reduce water consumption, they spray clothes with repeated high-pressure rinses to remove soap residues rather than soaking them in a full tub of rinse water.

What does this mean to you?
  • Nearly 50 percent less water and 30% to 40% less energy used per load
  • Washer design causes less wear and tear on clothes
  • Bulky items such as blankets fit easily in the super capacity basket
  • Better water extraction means less dryer time, for further energy savings

A typical household does nearly 400 loads of laundry per year, using about 40 gallons of water per full load with a conventional washer. In contrast, a full-size Energy Star® clothes washer uses 20 to 25 gallons per load. You could save as much as 7,000 gallons of water per year. And, you are saving all the energy that would have been needed to heat that water. This adds up to savings for you and a big boost for the environment.

Energy Star® refrigerators

The refrigerator is the single biggest power consumer in most households. A typical refrigerator made around 1990 uses over 900 kilowatt hours per year—that’s the same amount of energy you would use by leaving a 1,250 watt hair dryer on for a month! And the older your refrigerator is, the more power it burns. Energy Star® refrigerators incorporate a number of advanced features to save energy while keeping your food fresh. To make a better refrigerator, manufacturers use:

  • Better insulation
  • More efficient compressors
  • Improved heat transfer surfaces
  • More precise temperature and defrost mechanisms

With improved insulation, the compressor needs to run less often. Since the compressor runs less often and therefore produces less heat while it is running, the kitchen remains cooler. This in turn reduces the need to air condition as much to maintain the same comfort level. Energy Star® refrigerators must exceed minimum federal standards for energy consumption by at least 20%.

Manual defrost refrigerators are not covered under the Energy Star® program, but are generally more efficient than automatic defrost refrigerators. Proper maintenance of manual defrost refrigerators is necessary to realize the energy savings. The Department of Energy offers tips on buying refrigerators and lowering the energy usage of your refrigerator.

Energy Star® dishwashers

Energy Star® dishwashers save by using both improved technology for the primary wash cycle, and by using less hot water to clean. Construction includes energy efficient motors, and other advanced technology such as sensors that determine the length of the washing cycle and the temperature of the water necessary to clean the dishes.

A significant savings can be be realized by minimizing the amount of hot water needed. Dishwashers use built-in electric heaters to heat water to a temperature hot enough to clean the dishes effectively. Energy Star® dishwashers minimize the amount of water needed, saving the energy required to heat it in addition to other efficiencies. Energy Star® dishwashers must exceed minimum federal standards by at least 13%.


Read the rest of the article: http://fcs.tamu.edu/housing/efficient_housing/equipment_and_appliances/energy_star_appliances.php


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Learn about green buildingHover over the green leaves () to learn more about green buidling components that go into J.W. York's custom built houses and how they benefit you.

Encapsulating the attic in a home with open cell foam and removing the normal attic ventilation allows for a semi conditioned attic that replicates the temperature of the conditioned area of the home. The benefit is a more comfortable home, reduced load on the air conditioning, and energy savings.
Energy Star qualified metal roofing has reflective qualities that significantly reduce heat gain on the home resulting in lower energy bills and a more comfortable home.
We use Energy Star ceiling fans and CFL light bulbs in our fixtures and offer LED recessed can lights which significantly reduce energy demand on a home and putt off less heat than standard incandescent light bulbs.
Energy Star qualified wood or vinyl windows come standard in all of our homes. With LoE2 coating on the glass and Argon gas in between panes, these efficient units allow the home to have an abundance of natural light while maximizing comfort and performance.
Our use of high efficiency air filtration systems rated at MERV 8 or 10 capture more airborne pollutants and particles than a standard 1" filter thus significantly improving the indoor air quality of your home. These 5" think filters also need to be changes less frequently and contribute to the longevity of your HVAC system.
High Efficiency 15 Seer or better electric heat pump systems come standard in our homes and are paired with programmable thermostats. Our systems and duct work are properly sized using a Manual J calculation for each individual home. The system is then third party inspected by a duct blaster test to make sure the system is tight and has minimal leakage. The combination of these efforts will ensure a comfortable, efficient, and long lasting system for our homes.
We use open cell spray foam insulation to encapsulate all of our attics and R-19 exterior wall insulation which both exceed code requirements for insulation. These items will help ensure a comfortable and efficient home.
The use of a tank-less gas water heater or a heat pump water heater can greatly reduce the cost of heating water.
Energy Star rated appliances in our homes save an average of 30% in energy cost over standard models.
Advanced framing techniques are used to put more insulation and less wood in the exterior walls of the home while maintaining structural integrity. These techniques include California corners, 2x6 exterior walls @ 24" on center, and ladder framing of exterior T-walls.
Caulking all plates, stud-to-stud gaps, foaming around windows and exterior penetrations, and properly installing house wrap lends a tight seal to all of our homes. Our homes are third party inspected upon completion with a blower door test to check for gaps and leaks.
Basements and crawlspaces are areas of the home that must be properly insulated, dehumidified, and kept free of moisture to ensure a healthy home. We properly waterproof these areas, install footing and foundation drains, and grade around the home to ensure no water will end up in or under your home. We insulate the exterior walls of both basements and crawlspaces and then introduce an HVAC air handler or heat pump water heater inside those areas to semi- condition those spaces and keep humidity under control.
Most builders are advertising and using fiber cement siding. The problem is they are using wood for their fascia, soffit, corner boards, and other trim pieces because it saves them a few hundred dollars per home. When you go back and look at their homes 3 or 4 years later; the siding looks great but the trim boards all need to be painted again. If they are not painted they start to decay and weather very poorly. At J.W. York Homes we "full wrap" our homes in fiber cement siding and trim boards. This ensures the trim and siding on your home will stay on the same maintenance cycle and will prevent costly repairs in the future.
At J.W. York Homes we are mindful of our impact on the environment. Even though we use long lasting products, advanced framing, and proper planning to reduce the amount of job site waste; a new construction home still produces a good amount of waste. We have partnered with a local waste management and recycling company that hauls off 100% of our jobsite waste. They take the waste to a facility that sorts the waste and recycles as much of it as possible. We are currently able to recycle non pressure treated lumber, block, brick, stone, asphalt shingles, metal, cardboard, plastic, drywall, and much more. These products are then reused for such purposes as soil additives, erosion control methods, or resold to help offset the cost of recycling.