How to Use Home Energy Ratings to Evaluate Your Household
If you’re concerned about improving your household’s efficiency but don’t know where to start, a home energy rating can help you identify areas that need improvement. Home energy ratings provide an in-depth evaluation on energy performance and also offer advice on effective ways to boost overall efficiency.
What Is HERS?
The home energy rating system (HERS) is the nationally recognized standard for evaluating residential energy performance. The system was created by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), a non-profit organization that has developed the rigorous training and testing used to certify the professional home energy raters who perform the evaluations.
What to Expect During an assessment, a rater gathers data on your home’s energy efficiency, checking for the following:
- The home’s structural components are evaluated, including the attic, basement and windows, along with other key elements that impact efficiency such as appliances, lighting and solar orientation.
- Tests are performed to assess energy losses through the envelope and ductwork, HVAC equipment and water heater efficiency, and the effectiveness of your home’s insulation.
After the Assessment
Afterward, the data is entered into RESNET approved software to compare your home’s efficiency to an identical reference home. The local climate and national averages for residential energy consumption are factored in. After the data is analyzed, your home is given a numerical efficiency rating.
The reference home is rated at 100, while an average home usually rates around 130, according to the Department of Energy. Lower ratings indicate higher efficiency, and each point equates to a one-percent difference in efficiency.
You’ll also receive a detailed report on how your home’s efficiency measures up in four key areas: heating, cooling, lightning/appliances and water heating. The report includes specific recommendations on efficiency boosting home upgrades, along with a cost/benefit analysis and ROI.
To learn more about home energy ratings, contact us at Sobieski Services, Inc. Our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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