New building codes add increased costs to building but savings later

CLEVELAND - The government is spending big bucks to make older homes more energy efficient. To save everyone money in the future, the building industry is being forced to make some changes on new construction. The changes  could affect your wallet. 

Updated building codes are going into effect in January to make sure new homes will be more energy efficient. It will cost you more upfront, but it will save money in the long run.  

Some of the key requirements include carbon monoxide detectors, greater window energy efficiency, at least 75-percent of the light bulbs must be high efficiency, increased fire resistance for flooring and ice barriers for roofs to prevent ice damming. 

Another mandate starting in 2013 will be a blower test to determine how well the home is insulated. A large fan is used to extract out all the air pressure to see if the house has any leaks. These additional requirements will increase the overall cost of the house, but the savings in energy expenses for homeowners should be around $230 to 350 per year.  

"Surprisingly the costs aren't that terribly dramatic.  We approximated about $1,100 per home on an average-sized home, so the payback is relatively quick.  The payback in energy efficiency you get for the home is definitely a good investment," said Enzo Perfetto, president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cleveland.

Online videos from the Ohio Board of Building Standards can guide you through the building code process.

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