Day 2: Energy-Friendly Home

All this week The Early Show is following the progress of a Habitat for Humanity "blitz build" in Lothian, Md., where volunteers are finishing off a home construction in five days.

On Tuesday, the second day of observation, CBS Home Improvement Contributor Bob Vila reports on energy considerations from the work site.

Volunteers started at sunrise with a prayer meeting and then mobilized into their various work groups.

The house was already visited by the electricians did their job since all the side panels were put together and the house wrap was in place. The house wrap is a paper that allows the moisture to escape; it's all part of an energy-efficiency plan.

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Since a low-income family will inhabit this house, it is important to make it affordable. Here are the secrets of how this can be achieved:

Insulation: The superinsulated part of the house is sandwiched between oriented strand board layers that give it structure and make it a supertight house - together with products like the house wrap as well as the mechanical systems.

The heat pump: A heat pump is a very efficient way of heating the house and providing air conditioning, especially in the Baltimore area where the kilowatt cost is 7 cents an hour.

Fiberglass insulation blanket: Another important little energy secret is a fiberglass insulation blanket put around the water heater, especially if it's in an unheated place. This helps to keep the water hot and maintain low energy costs.

Windows: Another important element to an energy-efficient home is the windows. In this case, the donated Anderson windows meet some of the energy requirements.

They're made with low "e" glass, which has microscopic mineral particles that serve to reflect the heat back into the heated part of the house. And in the summertime they reflect the day's heat out of the house.

Expanding foam: On the inside of the house, use of an expanding foam product, when squirted, fills in all the gaps to make sure there's no infiltration of cold air drafts.

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