Ezell-Morgan is proud to offer homes that represent the latest that current technology and building science has to offer. They yield a positive return on their investment through energy savings while increasing comfort, health and safety. The design that we incorporate in each of our homes far exceeds the minimum standards of energy efficiency and is the product of years of experience.
Each measure that we include in our design must fulfill the following requirements:
The majority of our customers are choosing to invest in solar. The unique legislation in Kansas makes system sizing extremely important. Solar contractors are used to installing systems on existing homes and have the advantage of sizing based on past electric bills. Existing homes will also use substantially more electricity than our efficient new homes. We work with the contractors to size the panels appropriately to avoid excessive costs from the electric company.
Polyicynene is a foam insulation that is sprayed into wall cavities, rims as well as the attic. It expands to fill voids and bonds to adjacent surfaces to form an exceptionally tight seal and reduce air infiltration. Air infiltration is the number one contributor to energy loss in new homes and can account for up to 40% of heating and cooling costs. Reducing air infiltration also greatly decreases contamination from outdoor pollutants, such as pollen, dust, car exhaust, and insects. A licensed inspector must perform a pressure test of the home to determine the actual infiltration rate. The results of the tests on our homes show that the infiltration rate is about 7 times less than that found in most new homes and 15 times less than the average home.
Our windows feature low infiltration rates and high performance glass that is Low-E (low emissivity). Argon gas is injected between the panes to further increase R-value and reduce sound transmission. This makes these windows nearly double the R-value of standard double-pane windows.
We use 100% high efficiency lighting, most of which is LED. With lifetimes measured in decades, many new light fixtures today have no bulbs to replace. Fixtures that used the old 60 watt incandescent bulbs that where replaced annually now use 10 watts and last for 50 years.
Our homes are heated and cooled with a super-high-efficiency equipment that has been properly sized to work optimally in our high performance homes. Most are 2-stage, which means they can operate at two different levels of output. About 85% of the time the low output is all that’s required, but when temperatures are extreme it will switch to high output. The system fan is variable speed with an Electronically Commutated Motor (ECM) that lasts longer, is more efficient and much quieter than a standard fan. By combining this variable output equipment with an advanced thermostat, the system can control humidity as well as temperature. When humidity becomes elevated the system will automatically run the AC on low stage combined with a low fan speed to maximize dehumidification.
Perhaps the biggest bonus of all is that this equipment includes a 10-year parts and labor warranty with a lifetime warranty on the compressor. Standard equipment normally comes with a 5-year warranty that only covers parts.
Conventional trusses or "stick-framed" roofs only allow for about 3" to 4" of insulation around the perimeter of the attic. Most builders use blown fiberglass to insulate their attics which requires a depth of 17” to achieve an R-value of 38. The heat loss in this area can melt snow on the roof and cause ice damming which can eventually lead to a roof leak.
The Raised-Heel Truss (RHT) allows much more vertical space for insulation. It also allows for longer roof overhangs without interfering with windows. Using longer overhangs is also an effective way to reduce weathering on sidewalls, doors and windows.
In many homes it can take 2-3 minutes for a particular faucet to “warm up”. In the past some builders have installed hot water recirculation lines to help alleviate the problem, but these systems are now illegal in most states due to their extreme inefficiency.
Ezell-Morgan has designed a hot water recirculation system that incorporates the latest technology in circulator pumps and delivers hot water in just 5 seconds to every hot water appliance in the home. This system saves water as well as the energy used to heat it. It circulates hot water through a well-insulated loop that is driven by a tiny water pump specifically designed for the purpose. The pump features a built in thermostat that shuts it off when the water is up to temperature. The pump is smart and remembers your patterns of use to anticipate when you will need hot water. It also features a vacation mode that shuts the pump off if 48 hours go by with no hot water use.
Slab-on-grade homes lose a tremendous amount of heat through the outer edge of the foundation, which makes tile floors cold and uncomfortable. We insulate this area with 2 inch thick, high-density foam. The parts that are exposed are protected with thick rubber sheeting that doubles as a termite shield.
One of the most cost effective ways to improve the efficiency of the average home is to insulate unfinished concrete walls. In fact, there is no energy efficiency code standard that does not suggest, if not prescribe, this feature. This is because concrete has almost no measurable insulating value and normally the top foot of wall is exposed directly to outside air. The wall should be insulated to at least 3 feet below grade where the soil temperature stays about 50 to 60 degrees in this climate zone.