What Are Home Energy Ratings and How Do They Help You?

What Are Home Energy Ratings and How Do They Help You?Home energy ratings assign houses an efficiency score called a home energy rating system (HERS) index. Based on a home inspection developed by RESNET, the non-profit organization that develops uniform home energy efficiency standards, an accurate HERS index comes in handy in a variety of ways. The index shows where your home stands compared to a baseline reference home of the same square footage. This information enables you to pinpoint targeted improvements to remedy efficiency shortfalls.

If you decide to put your home on the market, a favorable HERS index score can be a powerful selling tool. Similarly, if you’re a home buyer, knowing a prospective home’s score can help make informed buying decisions.

What’s Involved in Home Energy Ratings?

A thorough inspection of the premises by a trained and certified RESNET inspector begins with a visual survey, including:

  • The condition of the building envelope, a ductwork inspection and assessment of insulation
  • Examination of HVAC equipment and manufacturer’s efficiency ratings
  • Inventory of major appliances and type of fuel consumed by each
  • A survey of lighting fixtures and types of bulbs
  • Signs of health or safety issues

Using technology to probe deeper into the structure, the inspection moves to the next level with:

  • A duct pressurization test, which quantifies the amount of leakage relative to total airflow through the system
  • A blower door test that lightly depressurizes the home, then uses sensors to assign a value to the rate of air infiltration through leaks
  • Infrared imagery that visualizes the level and efficiency of insulation inside walls and the attic
  • Combustion analyzers and a carbon monoxide detector, which are used to check the furnace and appliances for efficiency and safety

In the HERS index, 100 represents the equivalent of the representative home. Scores higher than 100 indicate less efficiency than the representative house while scores below 100 indicate greater efficiency. The most efficient possible home, one that produces as much energy as it consumes, would score 0 on the HERS index.

Contact Amarillo Air Conditioning for your heating and cooling needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about home energy ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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