These days, most people can recite their vehicle’s MPG without batting an eye. Ask them how energy-efficient their home is, however, and there’s likely going to be a considerable pause.
The HERS index (Home Energy Rating System) aims to change that. It’s a nationally recognized system that’s used to inspect a home and then calculate the home’s energy efficiency. The lower the HERS score, the more energy efficient your home is.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a typical home scores 130 on the HERS Index, and a standard new home scores 100. RESNET — the Residential Energy Services Network — states that a home with a HERS Index Score of 70 would be 30% more energy efficient than a standard new home. On the other end of the scale, a home with a HERS Index Score of 130 is 30% less energy efficient than a standard new home.
HERS, which is the Home Energy Industry standard to measure a home’s energy efficiency, can help a homeowner pinpoint areas that need improvement — like better insulation, a new furnace, or more energy-efficient appliances. And when it comes time to sell or buy a home, the HERS index is like an MPG sticker on a car: it can tell you whether the home is an energy guzzler or an efficient, energy sipper. A lower HERS score can mean a better resale value, and if you’re buying, you can estimate the cost of energy bills or even upgrades to make the home more efficient.
A certified RESNET home energy rater like East Penn Energy Solutions calculates a home’s HERS Index Score by performing an energy audit and then comparing the audit’s findings against an imaginary “reference home” that’s the same size and shape as the audited home. That means the HERS score is always relative to the size, shape and type of house it’s applied to.
Things that affect an energy rating (and the resulting HERS score) can include a home’s exterior walls (both above and below grade); floors over unconditioned spaces (such as garages or cellars); ceilings and roofs; attics, foundations and crawlspaces; windows and doors; vents and ductwork; HVAC systems; water heating system, and the type of thermostat used to control the home’s heating and cooling systems.
So what are you waiting for? Contact East Penn Energy Solutions and find out not only how your home rates on the HERS scale, but how you can improve that score to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. We’ll also be happy to determine the HERS scale of any home you’re considering purchasing. Call or email us for an appointment today.