ENERGY STAR® Certified Home Features
Energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
You want your home to be comfortable no matter what room
you're in or what the weather is outside. Comprehensive air
sealing, properly installed insulation, and high-performance
windows work together in an ENERGY STAR certified
home to deliver better comfort, better durability, reduced
maintenance costs, and lower monthly utility bills. During
construction, ENERGY STAR builder partners must meet all of
the requirements of EPA's comprehensive thermal enclosure
system inspection to ensure that—
•	Your new home is tightly sealed to reduce leaks
and drafts; and thermal bridging across walls is minimized.
•	Correct levels of insulation are selected to provide
whole-house comfort.
•	Insulation is installed properly to deliver the
best performance.
When builders meet these rigorous requirements, you get a
home with a complete thermal enclosure system—a better
approach to building a better home.
A typical home contains a half-mile of cracks and gaps
behind walls and around windows and doors, along with
dozens of holes for pipes, vents, ducts, lighting, and wiring.
Sealing these openings with a comprehensive air sealing
package helps to significantly reduce drafts, moisture, dust,
pollen, pests, and noise. The best time to seal these is during
the construction process because access to critical areas
can be limited once the house is completed
ENERGY STAR builder partners seal the holes using caulks,
foams, and other techniques—paying particular attention to
those areas between the conditioned (heated or cooled) and
unconditioned space of your home. One great example of this is
found at the attic access panel, where ENERGY STAR certified
homes feature a gasket to create a tight seal around the panel.
This is a detail that is commonly missing in many other homes
and can have a real impact on your comfort and utility bills.
The energy savings from comprehensive air sealing can
quickly add up when you consider all the places hot or cool
air can enter or escape from your home. Having a well-
sealed home also means better air quality because dirt,
pollen, pests, and moisture can't get in as easily. In addition,
good sealing practices help protect your home against mold
and moisture damage that can be caused by condensation.
Walls in homes are typically built with wood studs, which
support the weight of the floors and roof above, help the
home stand up to wind, and generally act as the structural
"bones" of the home. While these components are critical
to making a durable home, they often have a very low
R-value (resistance to heat flow) and create thermal
"bridges"—uninsulated pathways that compromise the
comfort and efficiency of the home. ENERGY STAR builder
partners select one of five strategies, such as adding a
continuous layer of rigid foam or minimizing excess wood
studs, to minimize thermal bridging in walls.

While it's important to have the right amount of insulation
in your home, it's the quality of the installation that makes
all the difference in getting the best performance. ENERGY
STAR builder partners can choose from many different
types of insulation—including fiberglass batts, dense-
packed cellulose, sprayed foam, and rigid foam sheets—to
ensure that you get a blanket of comfort around your new
home, insulation levels are commonly rated by R-value, or
resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the more
resistance. Insulation levels in ENERGY STAR certified
homes are independently verified by Home Energy Raters
to ensure that they match the levels selected during the
design of the home.
For insulation to deliver its rated R-value, it has to be installed
properly. ENERGY STAR builder partners install the insulation
with minimal gaps or compressions and aligned with air
barriers to improve performance. Imagine wearing a down
jacket that's two sizes too big on a winter day—the cold air
comes right up under the coat and chills your skin. ENERGY
STAR builder partners also fit the insulation around wires,
plumbing, and piping inside the walls to not leave empty,
uninsulated spaces that could lead to hot or cold spots.
These practices help maintain consistent temperatures
improper Installation

Insulation has misalignment, compression, and gaps.
Proper Installation
Insulation is fully aligned with air barrier with no major
compressions or gaps.
throughout your house, reduce energy use, and improve
comfort, especially on the hottest and coldest of days.
ENERGY STAR certified homes feature windows that meet
or exceed national performance standards. To satisfy this
requirement, many builders choose to install ENERGY STAR
qualified windows in their homes. These qualified windows
use advanced technologies, such as protective coatings
and improved frames, to help keep heat in during winter
and out during summer—translating into real savings for
you. They also often block damaging ultraviolet sunlight
that can discolor photographs, carpets, and furnishings.
Qualified windows can also help reduce the potential for
condensation, which can damage window sills, cause paint
to crack, and encourage mold growth.
An ENERGY STAR certified new home delivers better energy
efficiency and so much more. An ENERGY STAR certified
home is built better and built to last because the best, tried-
and-true, integrated construction practices are used from the
ground up. The result is better quality and durability, better
comfort, better systems, a better value for today, and a better
investment for tomorrow—plus a label backed by EPA. In
short, better is better.
ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency in 1992 as a market-based partnership
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy
efficiency. ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers
energy-efficient solutions to decrease energy consumption,
save money, and help protect the environment for future
generations. Nearly 20,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR
partners, committed to improving energy efficiency in homes,
products, and businesses.
ENERGY STAR Certified Home Features
•	A Complete Thermal Enclosure System
•	A Complete Water Management System
•	A Complete Heating, Ventilating, and Cooling System
•	Efficient Lighting and Appliances
•	Independent Inspections and Testing
Ask your builder for more information.
Homes that earn the ENERGY STAR prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency
guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,