Everything You Need to Know About Home Energy RatingsDo you know how energy efficient your home or the home you’re looking to buy is? A home energy rating can show where efficiency is lacking and suggest improvements to make to lower energy costs and boost comfort.

What’s the HERS Index?

Established in 2006 by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), the home energy rating system (HERS) index is the nationally recognized metric for evaluating residential energy performance. Evaluations are conducted by professional home energy raters who’ve completed in-depth RESNET approved training and passed a rigorous certification exam.

How Home Energy Ratings Work

During a energy rating evaluation, a certified professional gathers information about your home’s efficiency in various ways, such as:

  • A thermographic scan, blower door, duct leakage and combustion zone analysis tests assess the insulation’s effectiveness, sources of energy losses through the home’s envelope and ductwork, and the efficiency of the HVAC system and water heating equipment.
  • The condition of structure is thoroughly examined, including the attic, foundation, basement, windows and exterior doors.
  • Other factors that impact efficiency are examined, like appliances, lighting and the home’s solar orientation.

All the collected data is entered into RESNET-approved software that compares your home to a hypothetical structure of the same size, shape and type. Average household energy usage and the local climate are also factored in. The software gives your home a numerical rating on a linear scale:

  • Each point on the scale represents a one-percent difference in efficiency. The lower the rating, the greater the home’s efficiency.
  • The reference home has the efficiency of a standard new home and a rating of 100. The average resale home is rated at 130, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

You’ll also receive a detailed report that breaks down the home’s efficiency in four critical areas: heating, cooling, water heating and appliances/lighting. It provides a list of recommended improvements too, along with a cost/benefit analysis and expected return on investment so you’ll know what upgrades to target first.

For more information on how a home energy rating can help improve efficiency, contact the Indianapolis comfort experts at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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