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GOING GREEN AT HOME

Harring Construction’s custom homes are beautiful, comfortable, energy efficient – and full of ideas to help improve yours

Article by Mary Ellin Arch

Photography by Rene Scott-Tour VA Homes

Originally published in Midlothian Lifestyle

You can’t tell just by looking, but Jeremy Harring’s new home is a model of energy efficiency.

Thanks to Harring’s conscientious craftsmanship, the newest Harring Construction home (17901 Pine Canyon Trail, Magnolia Green) is loaded with features that make it 31% more efficient than the norm. It boasts meticulous applications of caulking, R-15 insulation (not the usual R-13), totally insulated and drywalled garages, and ventless, “conditioned” crawl spaces built to resist moisture and mold that can damage indoor air. Homes constructed to Harring’s exacting standards lose as little as 6 percent of conditioned air to leakage (typically, that leakage is 30%) and qualify as “green certified” as measured against the official HERS Rater (https://www.hersindex.com/hers-index/interactive-hersindex/).

“We do more than what the code asks us to do,” Harring says.

But even older homes can be made more energy efficient. Much of what’s in Harring’s green home can be duplicated in yours.

Don’t neglect your garage

Ever notice how your garage seems to be a different temperature from the rest of your house? In Harring homes, garage doors are insulated and all walls finished with insulation and drywall. In a typical home, exterior garage walls may lack insulation and finishing materials and allow cold air in.

Pick the right water heater

Every home has a water heater, and traditional types are energy wasters, heating water that may not be needed for hours. A tankless device heats on demand and doesn’t waste energy warming water and then maintaining the temperature.

Little things mean a lot

“We take a whole-house systems approach,” said Harring. “But anyone can increase their home’s energy efficiency by making small changes over time.”

Harring Construction: www.harringconstruction.com

The Yeatman Group of Long & Foster Real Estate (selling agent): www.theyeatmangroup.com

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5 EASY ECO

HOME FEATURES

Nest thermostat: A standard feature in Harring’s homes, programmable Nests can save 10-15% on heating and cooling costs.

Low-E windows: Harring homes feature low-emittance windows, double-paned and insulated with argon gas to keep out unwanted sun, heat and cold.

LED lighting: Also standard in Harring homes. Now dimmable, and available in different shades, LEDs provide soft yet bright light with an output as low as 4 watts.

Low-flush toilets: A typical commode uses 1.6 gallons of water per flush; Harring uses 1-gallon toilets. 

DIY: Install window shades and awnings to block sun, heat and cold. Plant shade trees to shield from sun and wind. Ceiling fans can cool indoor air; reverse the spin to push warm air down from vaulted ceilings during winter. Replace traditional bulbs with LEDs and shower heads with new versions that use less water but provide the same pressure.

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