Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
Frequently Asked Questions


What is ENERGY STAR®?

The ENERGY STAR® label is the national symbol for energy efficiency, developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The ENERGY STAR label assists consumers with identifying major household appliances as well as many other consumer products that are more energy efficient than comparable products in the market place.

ENERGY STAR labeled products are the latest in innovative design and technology and they use less energy and save you money each and every month.

What makes an ENERGY STAR® certified home?

An ENERGY STAR labeled home uses 30–40 percent less energy for heating and cooling than a Model Energy Code home. Common features of ENERGY STAR labeled homes include:

  • Improved Insulation—with better air sealing
  • Energy-Efficient Windows—Low-E Coating and a U .35 or less
  • Tightly Sealed Air Ducts—using mastic on seams and joints
  • Highly Efficient, Properly—Sized Heating and Cooling Equipment
  • Building Science Technology for Home Construction

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Why purchase an ENERGY STAR® labeled home?

ENERGY STAR labeled homes can save you money, improve comfort, contribute to better family health and safety while providing durability and energy efficiency to your home. ENERGY STAR homes are inspected and tested by a trained Home Energy Rater, so you can be assured of your new home's level of performance.

How do I get a new ENERGY STAR® home?

Find a local partner at the “New Homes Partner Locator” section of the ENERGY STAR web site.

How do I know if a home is labeled ENERGY STAR®?

Look for the ENERGY STAR label, which should be prominently displayed on the electrical panel of the home. You can also ask the builder for the ENERGY STAR labeled home certificate.

Does an ENERGY STAR® home cost more?

No! An ENERGY STAR labeled home actually costs less because you will spend less on your home’s utility bills each month. These energy savings can more than offset any increase in payments needed for the improved energy features, which can result in a positive monthly cash flow.

How much money can I save on utility bills if I buy an ENERGY STAR® home?

You can save 30–40 percent on your heating and cooling costs. The exact dollar amount will vary depending on your homes design, size and your personal comfort level. Savings in the St. Louis area average between $350 and $800 per year.

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Does an ENERGY STAR® home help prevent moisture problems that can lead to mold issues?

ENERGY STAR homes have properly sealed air ducts, which will help prevent the spread of mold spores from crawl space environments into the home. In an ENERGY STAR home plumbing, electrical, and other penetrations in floors and walls are sealed to prevent spread of contaminants such as mold into the home. ENERGY STAR homes provide balanced airflows for the heating and cooling systems. This minimizes pressures in rooms that can push indoor moisture into walls and create potential mold problems.

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Does making a home tighter lead to more issues with mold?

Not necessarily. Mold issues appear when a home has problems with moisture. These problems may be due to water from improper landscaping or plumbing leaks in the crawl space, improper flashings, lack of exterior rain planes behind siding and/or lack of proper ventilation.

Homes should have proper ventilation to help prevent issues with mold. The best building practice is to build a home tight and control the homes ventilation using mechanical ventilation such as kitchen, bathroom and whole house fans. All new homes are tight enough to need mechanical ventilation with make up air to control moisture.

How much ventilation is required in my home?

The ventilation system should consist of a kitchen fan, a bathroom fan and in some cases a whole house fan. The ventilation system should be sized to move about one third of the house volume per hour. This translates into at least 10 cfm per bedroom plus 10 cfm for the rest of the home. For example, a three bedroom home would require a 40 cfm whole house fan plus a bathroom and kitchen fan.

Can I make my existing home an ENERGY STAR® home?

Yes! Our Home Performance Specialists can rate your home and suggest measures bringing it close to ENERGY STAR standards. You can research options on how to make your existing home more efficient by visiting ENERGY STAR.

Missouri/Illinois St. Louis Regional Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR logo

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EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden is pleased to bring Home Performance with ENERGY STAR to the St. Louis bi-state area. This program is presented in partnership with:

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Energy
U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency