What's Happening

We don’t have to tell you that it’s really, really cold out there right now if you live anywhere in the Salt Lake Valley. One of the great things about living in a new Energy Efficient Daybreak home is that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to keep the inside of your home toasty warm in the winter time. In fact, most Daybreak Homeowners save hundreds of dollars a year on their utility bills simply by living in an Energy Star 3.0 certified home. Saving money is huge, but comfort is a whole other matter entirely. You see, when a home is built to the new Energy Star standard, not only does it come with the latest energy efficient furnace and AC unit, the house itself is built differently. The walls are thicker, and there’s more insulation in the walls and in your attic–in short its designed to be more comfortable by keeping the heat in during the winter and the cold out. Have you ever had the experience where one room in your house is colder than the others? Homes designed to Energy Star standards greatly reduce these anomalies.
Take a look at the two photos below to see another aspect of how far new homes have come in just the last few years. Home 1 was built in 2005 and Home 2 was built in 2012. These two homes are only a block away from one another, have the same East facing orientation, and the photos were taken minutes apart. Notice the vertical frost lines on the roof of home 1. This is caused when heat escapes through the roof trusses (the frame that holds the roof up) and melts the snow and frost on the roof as it escapes in the air. The frost remains where the framing sits beneath the roof.

You’ll also notice a few more icicles and less snow on home 1. Similarly, as heat escapes through the roof, it melts the snow which then drips off the roof and freezes in the cold air forming icicles. The roof on home 2 still has a bit more snow on it and no icicles because of the thermal barrier that is holding the heat in. New homes today are built much “tighter” than their predecessors of even a few years ago. There’s more insulation in the attic, and throughout the home, and the home has been designed and built to minimize the amount of air escaping through the walls and roof (and don’t worry, the roof is built to withstand the snow accumulations that our Utah winters tend to bring).
The new Energy Star 3.0 standard being used on all Daybreak homes of 2011 vintage or newer, specifies the building of a much more complete “thermal envelope.” What this means is that the way your home is insulated and the way air moves through it are designed together in a much more thoughtful way. This is the biggest difference between an Energy Star home and one that is not. When shopping for a new home, ask your builder if they build certified Energy Star homes and ask them what the average HERS ratings are on the  homes they are building. You might be surprised by their answer.