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 qualifications of ENERGY STAR and is the product of years of experience.
Each measure that we include in our design must fulfill the following requirements:
- Cost Effective – It should offer a positive return on the investment and/or provide and increase in owner comfort and health.
- Reduced Maintenance – It should not create an increase in the level of maintenance required for the home.
- Ease of Operation – Added equipment should either be completely automatic or require no special knowledge for operation.
- Sustainable – It should be reliable and dependable. It should make use of recycled or sustainable resources without compromising quality and it should create a minimal impact on our environment.
Polyicynene Foam Insulation
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. The inspector performs a similar test on the duct system to check for leaks as required by ENERGY STAR.
High Performance Windows
Our windows are ENERGY STAR rated and 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.
100% Fluorescent Lighting
Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) use 78% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 16 times longer. Standard 60W/750 hour incandescent bulbs are replaced with 13W/12,000 hour bulbs. These bulbs are so important for saving energy that the 2007 Energy Bill will phase out the use of most incandescent bulbs by 2014 and even most halogen bulbs by 2020.
Air Source Heat Pump
Our homes are heated and cooled with a super-high-efficiency Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP). This is basically an air conditioner that can both heat and cool. It is also 2-stage, which means that it 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. When winter temperatures drop below about 25 degrees, the heat pump will no longer be able to efficiently generate enough heat so the system includes a 95.5% efficient 2-stage furnace for the 3rd and 4th stages of heat. The furnace features a variable speed fan with an Electronically Commutated Motor (ECM) that lasts longer, is more efficient and much quieter than a standard furnace 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 heat pump 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.
ΞFast Hot Water™
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. It also has a 24-hour timer that can be used to turn off the pump at different times. This type of system is so efficient that it will actually be required by the 2012 energy code—but why wait.
Slab Edge Insulation
Slab-on-grade homes lose a tremendous amount of heat through the outer edge of the foundation. This makes tile floors cold and uncomfortable as well. We insulate this area to a depth of two feet with high-density foam as required by ENERGY STAR. The parts that are exposed are protected with thick rubber sheeting that doubles as a termite shield.
Basement Wall Insulation
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.
Energy Use Warranty
Ezell-Morgan Construction is so confident that their homes will perform as advertised they guarantee it in writing. Their ENERGY STAR homes include a 2-year Energy Use Warranty. If the owner’s energy bills exceed the estimated usage, Ezell-Morgan will pay the difference.