Energy Star Qualified Contractors in Gainesville, FL
We are Gainesville, Florida’s certified Energy Star construction leader. McFall Builders, Inc. uses the combined knowledge and expertise acquired over thirty years in the industry to confirm that our homes are more energy and cost-efficient. We are even certified by the United States to build homes that achieve the highest levels of energy efficiency.
How New Homes Earn the ENERGY STAR
To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These guidelines make ENERGY STAR homes 20–30% more efficient than standard homes. Homes achieve this level of performance through a combination of energy-efficient improvements such as:
- Effective Insulation Systems
- High Performance Windows
- Tight Construction and Ducts
- Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment
- ENERGY STAR Qualified Lighting and Appliances
To ensure that a home meets ENERGY STAR guidelines, third party verification by a certified Home Energy Rater (or equivalent) is required. This rater works closely with the builder throughout the construction process to help determine what energy-saving equipment and construction techniques the home needs and to conduct required on-site diagnostic testing and inspections in order to document that the home is eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR label.
Since the inception of the ENERGY STAR for New Homes program, the program’s requirements have evolved. Learn more about the history of the ENERGY STAR for New Homes Program.
Step 1: Builder Chooses to Partner with ENERGY STAR
Through a Partnership Agreement with EPA, a builder agrees to affix an ENERGY STAR label to homes that are independently verified to meet program guidelines and to build at least one ENERGY STAR qualified home every twelve months to maintain their partnership. Through the Partnership Agreement process, the builder also selects a Home Energy Rater to work with who will qualify their homes.
It is important for consumers to recognize that an ENERGY STAR builder partner does not necessarily build ENERGY STAR qualified homes exclusively. Some builder partners offer ENERGY STAR in specific home models, subdivisions, or developments, or as an upgrade option. However, there are also many builders that have made a commitment to building 100% ENERGY STAR qualified homes across their entire operation, and there are developers who require all ENERGY STAR construction in their developments. To find participating builder partners in your area, visit the ENERGY STAR Partner Locator.
Step 2: Builder Works with the Rater to Select Appropriate Energy-Efficient Home Features
The builder submits their architectural plans to their Home Energy Rater for review and analysis. The rater looks for key information on the plans to help the builder choose the best combination of energy-efficient features to ensure that the home will earn the ENERGY STAR label when constructed. Some raters rely on a prescriptive package of energy improvements developed by EPA, while other develop a customized approach for each home using specialized home energy modeling software. Learn more about the different approaches to selecting features for ENERGY STAR qualified homes.
Step 3: Builder Constructs Home and Rater Verifies Features and Performance.
With the energy-efficient features selected, the builder then proceeds with construction of the home. Throughout the construction process, the rater performs a number of inspections and diagnostic tests to verify the proper installation of the selected energy-efficient features and overall energy performance of the home. Learn more about the home analysis and inspection process.
Special note on the Sampling Protocol: Builders who have demonstrated an ability to consistently meet the ENERGY STAR guidelines may be eligible to have their homes verified using RESNET’s Sampling Protocol. Under that protocol, groups of homes that meet certain eligibility criteria can be qualified based on tests and inspections performed on a sample of the homes. For more information, see Chapter 6 of the Mortgage Industry National Home Rating Standards
Step 4: Rater Qualifies the Home as ENERGY STAR and Issues an ENERGY STAR Label
After the rater completes the final inspection and determines that all requirements have been met, the rater will provide the builder with an ENERGY STAR label, which is placed on the circuit breaker box of the home. This label provides the homeowner with documentation that the home is ENERGY STAR qualified and includes the home address, builder name, rater name, and date verified. Some builders may also provide a paper certificate or copy of the Home Energy Rating report.
To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC), and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20–30% more efficient than standard homes.
With homebuyers increasingly interested in green building, energy efficiency is the place to start. The energy used in homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants, which contributes to smog, acid rain, and risks of global warming. When less energy is used to build a home, less air pollution is generated. An easy way to make sure that a new home is energy efficient is to look for the blue ENERGY STAR mark, the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. Learn more about how Green Begins with ENERGY STAR Blue.
Any home of three stories or less can earn the ENERGY STAR label if it has been verified to meet EPA’s guidelines, including single family, attached, and low-rise multi-family homes; manufactured homes; systems-built homes (e.g., SIP, ICF, or modular construction); log homes, concrete homes; and even existing retrofitted homes.
This label identifies a home as having earned the ENERGY STAR.
ENERGY STAR qualified homes can include a variety of tried and true energy-efficient features that contribute to the improvement of home quality and homeowner comfort and to lower energy demand and reduced air pollution:
1. Effective Insulation
Properly installed and inspected insulation in floors, walls, and attics ensures even temperatures throughout the house, reduces energy use, and increases comfort. Learn more about Properly Installed Insulation (149KB).
2. High Performance Windows
Energy-efficient windows employ advanced technologies such as protective coatings and improved frames to help keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer. These windows also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furnishings. Learn more about Qualified Windows (212KB).
3. Tight Construction and Ducts
Sealing holes and cracks in the home’s “envelope” and in heating and cooling duct systems helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, and noise. A tightly sealed home improves comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility and maintenance. Learn more about Efficient Duct Systems (163KB).
4. Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment
In addition to using less energy to operate, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can be quieter, reduce indoor humidity, and improve the overall comfort of the home. When properly installed into a tightly sealed home, this equipment will not have to work so hard to heat and cool the home. Learn more about:
- Qualified Heating Equipment (142KB)
- Qualified Cooling Equipment (178KB)
- Mechanical Ventilation (140KB)
5. Efficient Products
ENERGY STAR qualified homes may also be equipped with ENERGY STAR qualified products: lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, ventilation fans, and appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines. Learn more about ENERGY STAR qualified products:
- Qualified Appliances (153KB)
- Qualified Lighting (170KB)
- Advanced Lighting Package (91KB)
- High Efficiency Water Heaters (177KB)
6. Third-Party Verification
With the help of independent Home Energy Raters, ENERGY STAR builder partners choose the most appropriate energy-saving features for their homes. Additionally, raters conduct onsite testing and inspections to verify the energy efficiency measures, as well as insulation, air tightness, and duct sealing details. Learn more about Independent Inspection and Testing (182KB).
Home buying is complex enough without having to know all the details of energy-efficient construction. Instead, look for the government-backed ENERGY STAR label to easily identify homes that are truly energy efficient. Find the house of your dreams and enjoy peace of mind knowing that it also meets strict energy efficiency guidelines.
LOWER OWNERSHIP COST
Compared with standard homes, ENERGY STAR qualified homes use substantially less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating, which enables them to deliver $200 to $400 in annual savings. Over the average seven to eight years you may live in your home, this adds up to thousands of dollars saved on utility bills. Additional savings on maintenance can also be substantial. Financing your home purchase using an ENERGY STAR Mortgage or an energy efficient mortgage can also lead to savings. Learn more about Mortgage Lending Programs.
Properly installed energy-efficient improvements deliver better protection against cold, heat, drafts, moisture, pollution, and noise. An energy-efficient home helps ensure consistent temperatures between and across rooms, improved indoor air quality, and greater durability.
To date, more than 8,500 home builders have partnered with EPA to construct more than one million ENERGY STAR qualified homes. The trend is clear. By choosing a home with the ENERGY STAR label, you can be confident that it will have an increasingly valued feature when the time comes to sell.
Did you know that your home can be a greater source of pollution than your car? In fact, sixteen percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are generated from the energy used in houses nationwide.
Energy used in our homes often comes from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants, which contributes to smog, acid rain, and global warming. Simply put, the less energy we use in our homes, the less air pollution we generate.