Earth day image for blog about energy efficient homes with house online on grass.

A comfortable, energy-efficient home begins with a good building enclosure

A comfortable, energy-efficient home begins with a good building enclosure, and we’ve been building energy-efficient homes since 1995.  From R-60 attic insulation to our premium air infiltration package, we’re doing all that we can to help protect our climate and future.

60 Attic Insulation (Standard):  Kind of like not wearing a hat in the winter, your home can lose a significant amount of heat through the top.  In order to prevent this from happening in your new custom home, we install R-60 blown attic insulation to help block heat from either escaping or entering your home – depending on the season.

Thermal scan of heat loss on a non energy efficient home.Raised Heel Trusses (Standard):  Traditional roof trusses have a very shallow 4″ heel height, making it difficult to insulate and adequately allow airflow from soffit vents.  Additionally, the corners created by the ceiling and wall where non-raised heel trusses rest are typically uninsulated and can be a significant energy loser.  At American Heritage Homes, we use energy trusses with a minimum heel height of 10″, striking a good balance between maintaining the home’s exterior appearance and allowing for increased insulation values.  These energy trusses are designed with raised “heels” – the point where the truss sits on the outside wall of the home – and allow enough space for adequate insulation.

Advanced Heating, Cooling & Ventilation (Standard): In a typical home, most utility costs go toward heating the house in the winter and cooling it in the summer.  However, when you build a new home with American Heritage Homes, you receive a well-insulated, high-performance house that helps to reduce those costs.  After all, in every energy-efficient home built, we install an Advanced Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation package – which includes a digital programmable thermostat, a high-efficiency gas furnace and air conditioner, and an automatic ventilation damper and control unit to ensure the proper amount of fresh outside air is brought into your home.

In addition, your HVAC system is custom designed for your home according to ACCA Standards.  Rather than using “rules of thumb” that result in poorly performing systems, we start by modeling every space in your home to determine the amount of ductwork needed to condition it properly.  Once the model is complete, our trade partner will hand build and mastic seal the ductwork to ensure the system performs properly and no air leaks occur.

Premium Air Infiltration Package (Standard):  Every new Designer Collection of homes that we build comes complete with our premium air infiltration reduction package. In order to reduce the amount of air entering your home, we caulk the joints at all critical exterior wall framing members, install low-expanding foam sealant around windows and doors, and add a foam sill sealer. All of this is done to minimize energy loss in your new home.

Georthermal heating image for energy efficient homes.Geothermal Heating and Cooling (Upgrade):  Geothermal heating and cooling systems exchange energy with the ground, groundwater, or other bodies of water.  With a geothermal system, heat is extracted from a home in the summer and transferred into the earth, whereas, in the winter, the heat is removed from the ground and transferred into the house.  A geothermal heat pump is required to accomplish this efficiently and turn chilly 55-degree groundwater or soil into warm 72-90 degree air.  Using pumps and a heat transfer medium – fluid or water in transfer pipes – the heat pump concentrates the energy from a large area in the ground into a small coil where circulating air picks it up and distributes it throughout the home.  Because these geothermal systems move heat from one place to another rather than create heat using fuel or other energy sources, it makes them vastly more efficient.  There are several types of commonly used geothermal heating and cooling systems out there. We recommend looking at the initial cost vs. the potential monthly energy savings when deciding which one to choose.

Structural Insulated Panels (Upgrade):  Another option are Structural Insulated Panels – or often referred to as SIP panels.  These panels are used on exterior walls and are typically constructed using an insulated foam core sandwiched between OSB.  Using these panels not only helps improve indoor air quality but they are also known for being extremely energy efficient.  To learn more, visit the Structural Insulated Panel Association’s website.

Exterior of a two story custom home with antique white horizontal siding on house and sea slate board and batten on garage.We recently completed a home using a similar system.  The American Heritage High-Performance Hybrid wall system includes 2×4 studs with 1/2″ OSB sheathing, 2″ ESP rigid foam, and Tyvek taped at all seams.  This system is available as an upgrade when building your home, so talk to your Sales Consultant for more information.

Insulated Basement Floors (Upgrade):   Insulating your basement floor can not only improve your comfort, but it can also reduce heat loss, thus lowing your utility bill.  If you think you might eventually finish your new home’s basement, consider insulating the floor to keep the space warmer – especially in those cold winter months.

About American Heritage Homes
American Heritage Homes is a locally owned, on your lot custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. Since 1995, families have trusted us to build their dream homes on their land. Through honesty and hard work, American Heritage Homes has become central Ohio’s premier on your lot custom home builder with a reputation for constructing extraordinary custom homes at an affordable price.