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Energy Smart

Save Money During the Hot Summer Months!



With the summer temperatures rising, so does the need for more energy for your home. Make sure your home is running at the highest efficiency possible by following these simple tips. They can help lower your energy bills and leave you cool and comfortable all summer long!
1. Keep the blinds closed during the day. By keeping your blinds closed during the hottest part of the day, you’ll block heat from seeping into your home. For added insulation from the heat, use heavy drapes or curtains to block out the sun’s rays.
2. Adjust your thermostat to run at least two degrees warmer than you normally would. Consider using a programmable thermostat so that your air conditioner isn’t working hard to cool your home while no one is there to enjoy it. According to Kentucky Utilities, a programmable thermostat can save up to 12% on your home energy costs. Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.

3. Use ceiling fans to cool your home. Even when your air conditioner is running, turn your ceiling fans on so you can spread the cooled air more effectively throughout your home without having to adjust the thermostat. According to energy.gov, if you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort level.
4. Consider planting shade trees or shrubs in areas of your yard that receive full sun during the day. Not only will you save on energy costs, but you’ll give your home more curb appeal! An air conditioning unit that operates in the shade uses less energy than one operating in the sun, however when planting, make sure to keep limbs far enough away from the unit so that they don’t block airflow.

5. On really warm days, avoid using your oven. Stick to using a crockpot, the microwave, or grilling out. Heating your oven up daily adds more heat to your interiors and therefore requires your air conditioning cooling system to work harder and longer. If you need to do laundry, wait until the sun has gone down so that you aren’t heating your home more than necessary.

Top 3 New Year's Resolutions


Tonight, everyone will be celebrating the end of 2012 and look forward to 2013. For many people, the new year means a fresh start and a new outlook. For a majority of people, a new year means new resolutions: pledges to make a change in the upcoming year for a better life. We’ve narrowed down a list of the three most common New Year’s resolutions and included some tips on how to help you stay focused in 2013.

1. Get In Shape
There’s no doubt that Get In Shape/Get Fit/Lose Weight/Get Healthy is one of the top New Year’s resolution on many people’s list. Why not let your home help you keep your resolution? Losing weight starts with being more active! Use the bonus room in your new Ball Home to put a treadmill or weight machine. Take advantage of the many walking trails and parks around your subdivision, like Chilesburg or Notting Hill. Getting out and getting active around your community is a step in the right direction to leading a healthier life!
2. Get Organized
Many of our popular floor plans offer sizable closet spaces, attic areas, and storage options; make the most of them! Install space saving shelving in your garage so that everything has a place. Use large plastic bins to store holiday decorations, sports equipment, and out of season clothing items. Reorganize your bedroom closet to make sure you aren’t keeping clothing you never wear. If you haven’t worn an item in the last 6 months, chances are you probably don’t need it. For tips on how to organize your kitchen, read our previous blog post.
3. Save More/Get out of Debt
Saving more money throughout the year starts with changing small habits, and the best place to start is by cutting energy use in your home. To save on your utility bills, lower your thermostat before you leave for work. Install compact florescent bulbs in your lamps. Switch off your electronics and lights when they aren’t in use. Utilize your fireplace instead of turning up the heat a few degrees. If you really want to take a big chunk out of your debt this year, why not look into refinancing your home? With mortgage rates at historic lows, now is the time to refinance and save money on your mortgage payment. Contact a loan officer at Walden Mortgage for more information on your refinancing options.

From all of us at Ball Homes, we wish you a very happy New Year and we look forward to what 2013 has in store!

Energy Smart Tour


At Ball Homes, we are committed to increasing the energy performance of each of the homes we build. That is why we are one of the first builders in the nation to adopt the RESNET Energy Smart program. As a member of the program, each of our homes is individually inspected by a member of a national network of independent energy raters and given a score based on its energy efficiency. For more information on the program, read this previous blog post.

It is important for us to give our customers a quality, energy efficient home that is more affordable to maintain, more comfortable, and have a higher value than other homes. A more energy efficient home allows homeowners to have a lower cost of ownership and could allow them to get a higher resale price when it comes time to sell.

In order to pass important information onto our customers, we have to make sure our Ball Homes Specialists have up-to-date information on the construction processes of our homes. On Monday morning, Lexington Ball Homes Specialists met with Alex Carter, an independent Energy Rater, to go through one of our new construction homes and educate them on what a rater looks for in a home. Agents were able to ask questions and physically see what Ball Homes is doing to be a leader in the Energy Smart program. Alex was able to give great information to our Sales Team that we can pass on to our customers. For more information on the Energy Smart Program, contact a Ball Homes Specialist today!



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The Way of the Future: Energy Smart

Ball Homes is proud to be among a handful of Lexington builders to participate in a brand new Energy Smart rating system by RESNET, a leading national network of independent energy raters that promotes energy efficiency. As a participant in this program, each and every Ball home will be inspected and tested to ensure that it meets the criteria of having the title of an Energy Smart home.

After each home has been tested, RESNET will give it an individual rating certificate that shows the home's HERS rating index. This index is the industry's standard by which a home's energy efficiency is rated and its energy performance is calculated. Each home's HERS score will help buyers project energy costs and compare with other homes in the area. It also estimates the annual energy savings compared to the average existing home. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home.

The current industry standard for home efficiency on the HERS index is a score of 100. Ball Homes is committed to going above and beyond that standard. Our new homes have consistently averaged a score between 75-85 for each home. That is a 15%-24% difference! Compared to the average existing home with a HERS index of 130, the same Energy Smart home will save 45% to 54% in energy costs, which amounts to hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year!

Better scores are achieved by thorough sealing and insulating to reduce holes and cracks in the home's "envelope," improved blocking to restrict the flow of unheated or uncooled air, and better insulation practices. Since the energy rater is involved throughout the construction process, the home can be tested and checked as it is being built, and best practices are assured.

Each Energy Smart home is individually inspected and tested by a certified home energy rater using a thermal bypass inspection checklist for such features as tightness of construction and ducts, high efficiency heating and cooling equipment, and effective insulation and blocking. Homes also undergo a final blower door test to evaluate and improve air leakage into the home, and a duct blaster test to locate and seal any leakage in the HVAC system.

Energy Smart homes mean lower utility bills, more comfortable homes with more consistent temperatures between and across rooms, and improved indoor air quality. More efficient energy use also means environmental benefits for everyone, including reduced air pollution generated by the production of energy at power plants.

Ball Homes’ commitment to this program not only shows our stance on energy efficiency and conservation, but also our focus on building quality homes!