Ed Nikles New Custom Home Triples the Threshold for Home Energy Efficiency
Milford, PA - Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. has raised the bar for energy efficient homes once again. Their newest high performance home, a three bedroom, two bath ranch home in Dingman Township, not only has a Five Star Plus Energy Star rating (the highest possible), is 48% more energy efficient than code requires, and has a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating of 52; it also saves its owners an estimated $2,517 dollars a year in gas and electric bills.
HERS is an energy rating system that involves an analysis of a home's construction plans and on-site inspections. The standard HERS rating for energy efficient homes, in order to become Energy Star certified is 85, or 15% more energy efficient. Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. has not only created a home that is 48% energy efficient, but their average HERS rating is 56 - which is 44% more efficient, or almost triple the efficiency threshold required by Energy Star. According to Peter Vargo, a third party verifier who tested the home's efficiency with a blower-door test, the new home is, out of over 200 houses that he's tested, "...in the top ten of the blower-door tests that I've ever tested for a fiberglass insulated home." To clarify, a blower-door test determines a home's efficiency by replacing the entry door with a canvas door, hooking up a fan to a computer, putting negative pressure on the house and determining the home's efficiency with special energy software.
In order to accomplish this outstanding HERS rating, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. used a variety of building techniques to make the home more efficient. In the basement, they started with a Superior Wall Xi foundation, which comes with 2.5 inches of foam (R-12.5) installed on the walls and provides superior warmth. In the skylight tunnels, they installed 4 inches of rigid foam, which is much more efficient than the standard fiberglass used by other companies, and the home was insulated with upgraded Johns Mansville Formaldehyde-Free insulation, which eliminates off-gassing found in typical fiberglass insulation. In the attic, an R-40 EPS gasketed attic entry system was installed, which uses weather-stripped thick foam to keep heat from leaving through the attic access. In addition, all of the exterior sheathing joints and wall plates were foam caulked and sealed to prevent air infiltration, and a vent fan connected to an automatic timer was installed to exhaust both humid bath and stale air from the home, ensuring cleaner air throughout the house.
As for the mechanical equipment, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. installed a tank-less water heater, which heats on demand, eliminating standing heat loss from conventional tank units and providing virtually unlimited hot water. A 95.5% efficient furnace with 2 inch R-8 insulated ducts, sealed at all joints and seams, was instituted to minimize air leakage. An Energy Star Advanced Lighting Package was installed with 100% compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), as were all Energy Star appliances, including refrigerator, dishwasher, and frontloading washing machine and Energy Star certified Pella windows.
After easily surpassing the standard required by Energy Star, Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc. has applied for the Builder's Challenge Certification, administered by the Department of Energy, whose minimum threshold for energy efficiency must be 30% better than code. The Builder's Challenge Certification recognizes the outstanding home efficiency achieved by Ed Nikles Custom Builder, Inc., whose goal is to build houses with typical construction methods that are 30-50% higher than code, not just the 15% Energy Star threshold. Their expertise on energy efficiency can save homeowners thousands of dollars per year and their company is dedicated to educating their clients on the many benefits of energy efficient homes.
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