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Our Energy Efficiency Promise

Categories: Home Building 101 | Posted: January 21, 2016

Have you ever thought about the cool air that runs through your home and wonder how it works? Especially in the summer when you need it most and in the winter when you need the heat? Up until a few weeks ago I hadn’t put much thought into it until I learned about our energy promise. Antares’ Energy Promise is Guaranteed Kilowatt per Hour of usage on Heating and Cooling costs for 2 years and it includes a “Quiet” Insulation Package with Cocoon Cellulose Insulation. To stand by our promise, every home is inspected twice for energy efficiency to make sure that we have the best insulation with our wall openings, joist seams or air ducts sealed tight. To be completely honest, I didn’t have the faintest idea of what air efficiency meant and why it’s so important to have it in every home. I knew that air efficiency was a hot topic and that’s it’s very important to our customers, but I wanted to know “why” and “how” it was so important. So I decided to take a look inside the process of what makes a home’s air circulate, and maybe then I would have a better understanding and appreciation for our energy efficiency promise that we’re well known for here at Antares.

First, I had to talk to an expert. Our director of purchasing Locke Lynch got me in touch with Eric Johnson who’s the managing director of Tex Energy Solutions and he explained energy efficiency in a way I could understand. He gave me an analogy that put things into perspective for me. He asked me to think of the human body and how every body part works as a machine to keep the body functioning. He compared the HVAC system to the heart because the heart is the main organ the makes your whole body function. The HVAC system works the same way in energy efficiency. A complete system can control air temperature, humidity, fresh air intake and maintain the quality of the air in your home. When you break HVAC down, the heat, ventilation, and air conditioning serve different purposes but are all operated by the system. When Eric began to break down the HVAC system for me, he described the condenser and evaporator coil, the condenser is an outdoor unit that brings in the air from the outside and moves to the evaporator coil. These two crucial pieces of the HVAC system work as the lungs in this analogy because they do the job of making sure that the heat or air conditioner are transported throughout the house just as your lungs transport air throughout your body to breathe.

 

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Once energy was explained to me in a way I could understand, I asked Eric if he could describe our energy promise and what makes it stand out from other promises out there. Eric explained that first we use heat pumps that cool the house and secondly, we consistently have two energy inspections. The first inspection is for insulation by our third party when the house is in the framing stage and the second inspection is by the city right before the sheet rock phase.

 

When the house is finished and they have put in the ac units, they retest the house with a blower door test which measures how tight the house is and the ac units in conjunction with our insulation create efficiency. The polyseal (expanding foam) has to be inspected to make sure their air doesn’t exchange from in or outside the house. The cellulose we use is blown into the wall cavities, and it actually fills in the entire space. So there’s less air infiltration, which means it keeps air from going in and out of the house. In the windows, we use a double pane lowE glass which is a tinted glass that’s mounted in a vinyl frame. The vinyl doesn’t transmit heat and cold through the frame unlike aluminum which previously was an industry standard. Lastly our attic is insulated with spray applied cellulose which is used as a moisture retardant to prevent mold cultures.

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It’s safe to say that we hold to our efficiency promise with every single house we build. I never realized what went into our efficiency promise and how our builders carefully construct every step to make sure the house is built tightly. I want to thank Eric Johnson for taking time out of his schedule to explain the technical aspects of our energy promise. I have seen the negative side of poor air infiltration at my mother’s old house when they had mold inside and why it’s very important to make sure the windows are framed correctly up to the attic insulation with sprayed cellulose. That’s why when I had heard of Antares energy promise I was intrigued to write about it and see how everything comes together. The sales consultants even explain the efficiency of the home with their insulation demonstration to confirm the air tightness.  So if you ever want to see it, feel free to contact one of our sales offices. After all that’s said and done I can say that I’m amazed with all of the hard work and procedures that go into making sure our homes have heat and air circulating through by the switch on the thermostat!

 

Until next time,

Alexa Katchinska

 

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