Posted by Ben Wills in Home Buying

Construction jargon can be confusing and downright overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Understanding these terms (and being comfortable with their meaning) can help you better communicate along the process. The following are words/terms you may hear about new homes!

Whether you plan on buying an energy efficient home, have already purchased and are waiting for construction to start, or are about to move into your new home, understanding some of the basic home construction terms you are bound to come across will help make you a more informed and confident homeowner.

Download the full PDF of energy efficient home building terms and read helpful explanations for each below!

What Does Energy Efficient Mean?

Energy efficient means using less energy to perform a task than what could have been used, so that energy isn’t wasted, like using an LED light bulb or adjusting the temperature on your A/C when no one is home.

The energy efficiency of new homes is more important now than ever before, not only to help keep money in your pocket, but to also do our part to help save the environment.

Most new residential construction has some energy efficient components or offers some version of ENERGY STAR®. Understanding the different layers of ENERGY STAR® and the components that are tested to qualify for the program is step #1.

Building an Energy Efficient Home

Understanding the following residential construction terms and being comfortable with their meaning and benefit can help you compare builders, their quality, and how this information impacts your decision for a new home.

To have an energy efficient home, all systems must work at peak performance. To ensure your home will operate at its best, there are tests that can and should be performed during the home building process, all of which M/I Homes performs.

  • Blower Door Test - This test is a way to determine how airtight a home is by checking for air leaks. A powerful fan, mounted to an exterior door frame, pulls air out of the house (lowering the air inside) allowing the outdoor air pressure to flow through unsealed openings. A poorly sealed home can have a higher utility bill not to mention possible moisture issues.
  • Duct Blast Test - Leaky ducts can make air conditioning escape into your attic; in some cases, up to 20-30% of the air is lost, which is a giant waste of money. This test blows pressurized air into your ductwork to measure for possible leaks, much like a plumber would test pipes for leaks.

For a home that includes all the above energy efficient home construction methods and terms above, an ENERGY STAR® 3.1 Certified home is the way to go to ensure you have a more efficient, comfortable, and durable home that you will enjoy for years to come.

As you continue your new home search these home construction definitions are crucial for you to understand so that you are informed and can ask the right questions to any builder you may be considering.

Contact me with any additional home building term questions you might have while on the search for your new home!


Ben Wills
Ben Wills


​Ben Wills is the Mortgage Branch Training Officer for M/I Financial, LLC. Ben has been in the mortgage field for over 40 years and has assisted thousands of homeowners in financing new home construction.

How to Plan the Ultimate Summer Pool Party

How to Plan the Ultimate Summer Pool Party

Home Design

Everything You Need to Know About the 10 Best Home Builders

Everything You Need to Know About the 10 Best Home Builders

Home Building Industry