It’s almost been an entire eight months that Aaron, Simon, Murray and I moved into our SRP ENERGY STAR® home in Tempe, Arizona. The craziest thing is that it’s been almost a year since we moved out of our previous home that was only a mile north, but built 61 years prior. I’ll always have special memories of that home, but I can’t say that I miss it one bit. I was so worried that I would miss living in the home that we had all of our “firsts” in. This blog post (click here to read) was written about our previous home’s renovation and being put on the market. It’s funny to look back and read what I wrote because it was before our new home was even in our peripheral. Somehow we manifested everything we wanted in a home and we were able to sign on the dotted line!
Almost an entire month after our house sold, we found our dream home (heart eyes emoji) just under our nose in a similar neighborhood, but with a different town name. We looked at other locations that took us out of our bubble, some new and some older homes. We analyzed the various builders in the Valley, but nothing compared to Taylor Morrison. After remodeling our own home and fully customizing every light fixture to back splash placement to door handle, we knew what we could and could not live with especially if we’re building a brand new home. This may be wishful thinking, but there is no way I can imagine putting ourselves through another remodel for at least another 10 years! Thankfully Taylor Morrison allowed us to customize many of the cosmetic features and granted us the option to opt out of fixtures all together if we wanted to add it in later with our own customization, like bathroom mirrors and backsplash. The most important thing that we are very fortunate to have included is that our home is a SRP ENERGY STAR® home!
After living in a home that was built in 1957, and remodeling it (twice!) to include proper duct work for the small addition of closing in the carport, which was done before we moved in, and updating the air pathway when we removed the soffits really showed us that no matter what you do, some homes just aren’t built (or remodeled) to live up to the SRP ENERGY STAR® standards. Now, we have a second story, about 700 more square feet and our energy bills are still lower than what they were before! One of the benefits of owning a SRP ENERGY STAR® Home is the potential to save up to $700 per year, use 25-50% less energy, and up to 20% less water. Even better, at the end of the day I know that I’m doing my part to contribute to a greener planet without actually having to do anything! And by “doing nothing” I mean that compared to our last home, and even other new build homes, this new home is much lower maintenance in terms of being energy efficient, especially since everything is automated to control our energy usage.
Now for the nitty gritty details… what exactly makes a home a SRP ENERGY STAR® home?
First and foremost, a SRP ENERGY STAR® home is designed, inspected and randomly tested to meet strict requirements set by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and SRP works directly with select builders (one being Taylor Morrison – our builder!) to ensure the plans meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® standards. It’s so nice to have the latest high-performance appliances and lighting, which all homes are equipped with.
These standards include properly installed insulation, which protects the inside of your home from excess heat or cold, and monitors that there are no voids, gaps or compressed insulation that degrades effectiveness. You can actually view exposed insulation in a SRP ENERGY STAR® model home through a piece of cut out wall to see the difference.
Another feature of our home is the efficient HVAC and proper sized unit, which I’m such a nerd about – side note: I managed a marketing plan for a local HVAC company during my short stint at a marketing agency, so I learned a lot about energy efficient units – if the AC unit is too big then it uses more energy than necessary. Plus, there are two smart WiFi thermostats that are ENERGY STAR® certified located upstairs and downstairs to be able to control the levels of the house at different temperatures based on where we’re at in out home. The ducts are properly sealed with mastic to prevent loss of conditioned air.
It’s super important to have high efficiency, dual pan, low-e windows, which is a coating that reflects back a significant portion of the radiant heat from the sunlight hitting the glass.
The next benefit is so important to The Foxy Pups, especially Simon because he has pretty bad allergies, but the home is tight through effective sealing of the drywall to framing. This minimizes all unfiltered outdoor air, dust, and allergens.
Lastly, the Water Saving Plumbing fixtures significantly reduce the amount of water release per use. These fixtures use just enough water to be effective, saving excess, clean, drinking water that usually is wasted down the drain.
To learn more about SRP ENERGY STAR® homes, I highly recommend clicking through to their website. It’s so fun to learn about all of the locations that support this program. Click here to search over 50 Phoenix-area home builders who participate in the SRP ENERGY STAR® program.