We have outlined some very important items developers should take into consideration in order to achieve the energy efficient standards for the 45L tax credit. Of course, there are a lot of factors including climate zone that are measured but if a developer pays attention to these items, they will be in much better shape. Keep in mind that they are not required in order for a unit to pass, but they do help considerably if employed.
- Whole house fan for cooling strategy: This can also be a fan-only fresh air option on a wall unit air conditioner or PTAC
- Mechanical ventilation for indoor air quality: This a great idea for homes, townhouses and apartments larger than 1500 square feet.
- All ducts & HVAC equipment should be inside conditions space and not run in the attic, crawl space or garage.
- Wall insulation of R-19 or better for dwellings outside the Deep South. Rigid foam board or insulated sheathing is also beneficial.
- Foundation wall insulation: R-7 around the perimeter is preferred but under slab insulation works well also.
- Quality Windows: Energy Star windows are a bare minimum. U-values are important in northern states and solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC) are better in the south.
- Wall insulation of R-19 or better for dwellings outside of the Deep South. Rigid foam board or insulated sheathing is also beneficial.
- HVAC Equipment. If constraints don’t allow exterior walls to be insulated to R-19, then the efficiency of the HVAC equipment is vital. At least SEER 14 for A/Cs and 95% AFUE for heating is recommended.
- Ventilation. When replacing PTACs, VTACs, wall unit A/Cs and other similar equipment, choose those that have a fan-only fresh air option.
- Quality Windows. Energy Star windows are a bare minimum. U-values are important in northern states and solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC) are better in the south.
- Attic Insulation. Northern climates should have additional attic insulation installed to R-50 and southern states should have at least R-38.
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