Is Your Home an Energy Star Home? Ways to Convert

Is Your Home an Energy Star Home? Ways to ConvertNot every new home is an Energy Star home and not every home that meets federal Energy Star standards is newly constructed. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Energy Star designation applies to specific design and construction practices that achieve goals of optimal heating and cooling performance, while reducing energy consumption. Although many new homes today are already Energy Star-certified, the same standards for energy excellence can be achieved by converting an existing home to Energy Star status with these recommendations:

  • System sizing — When upgrading to a higher-efficiency furnace and/or air conditioner, a heating and cooling load calculation must be performed by a professional who utilizes industry standard software, such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J. This ensures that the new unit has the BTU capacity to match the unique thermal requirements of your home. Oversized and undersized units waste energy and deliver poor comfort performance.
  • Ductwork design — Ductwork is the HVAC system’s circulation system. Duct design should follow accepted Energy Star practices for efficiency and performance, as well as for ductwork fabrication and installation. An HVAC professional will input data from the Manual J load calculation into the ACCA’s Manual D software to size the diameter of the ducts and match them to the system’s blower output, as well as determine the optimum layout to minimize the effects of internal air friction.
  • Duct sealing — After installation, the ductwork will be pressure-tested and duct leaks sealed as necessary. Duct segments should be sealed with mastic and/or foil tape and mechanically fastened with sheet metal screws. Where duct spans must be routed through unconditioned zones like a hot attic, ductwork will be insulated to reduce thermal loss.
  • System testing — Proper refrigerant levels will be verified before installation and again after initial test runs. Airflow to each room will be balanced to achieve neutral air pressure, the thermostat calibrated and thermostat readings verified.

Paitson Bros. Heating and Air Conditioning has maintained high standards of heating and cooling excellence since 1922. Ask us for more information about converting to the efficiency and performance of an Energy Star home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about Energy Star and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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    By Jeff Paitson
  • About Jeff

    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

    Jeff is a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce member and in his spare time, he enjoys photography.
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  • About Ethan


    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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