HERS Home Energy Rating

EnergySeal offers RESNET accredited home energy ratings (HERS). Home energy ratings provide a standard measurement of a home's energy efficiency. Ratings are used for both new and existing homes. In new homes, ratings often verify energy performance for the Energy Star homes program, energy efficient mortgages, and energy code compliance. Homeowners who want to upgrade their home's energy efficiency can use the energy rating to evaluate and pinpoint specific, cost-effective improvements. For existing homes, homeowners can receive a report, listing cost-effective options for improving the home's energy rating. An energy rating allows a homebuyer to easily compare the energy performance of the homes being considered.
There are two types of ratings:
Projected ratings - Ratings performed prior to the construction of a home, or prior to the    installation of energy improvements to an existing home.
Confirmed ratings - Ratings completed using data gathered from an on-site inspection, which    could include performance testing of the home.

Projected ratings can be done from blueprints before the house is built. EnergySeal will review the home to identify its energy characteristics, including insulation levels, window efficiency, wall-to-window ratios, the heating and cooling system efficiency, the solar orientation of the home, the water heating system and any renewable energy components. A projected rating will use an estimate of how tight the house will be built as well as of how leaky the ductwork will be. In order to receive a confirmed rating, EnergySeal will perform a pre-drywall inspection, to confirm the quality and thoroughness of the insulation installed. We will also carefully inspect the quality of air-sealing to ensure the anticipated air tightness of the house will be achieved.

After the final finishes are installed in the house, we will perform a blower door test to determine how tightly the house was actually built. If there is ductwork installed for heating or cooling, a duct blaster test will also be performed. This will determine how well sealed the ductwork is. The results of these tests will be entered into the original energy model, and a confirmed rating will be generated.

The data we gather is entered into a RESNET accredited computer program and translated into a rating score. An estimate of the home's energy costs is also provided in the report. Because a rating quantifies the energy performance of a home, the rating score provides an easily understandable means to compare more efficient homes by their relative energy efficiency.

A HERS rating is a score that is based on national standards produced by RESNET. A HERS index of 100 is what a standard built-to-code new home would score, while a net-zero energy home would score a 0. Older, existing homes may score a higher number than 100, as they were not built to modern day building codes.

The chart below shows the scores required for various programs and building codes in the area. The EPA's Energy Star program requires a score of 85. LEED for Homes starts at HERS 85, then additional points are awarded for every HERS point beyond 85. Federal tax credits for builders require an approximate HERS score of 60, but the requirement is not directly tied to a HERS score.
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