How to Decipher Your HERS Score (and Improve It)

April 7, 2017 adamb@evidently.com

 

How to Decipher Your HERS Score (and Improve It)

If you are planning to sell your home and have recently had it assessed by a certified HERS rater, you might need some help understanding what the numbers mean. You might also need some advice on how you can improve your home’s rating, if it was rated high. 

Understanding the HERS Rating System

Did you know that a higher score doesn’t mean a better rating? The goal is to have a Net Zero home, in fact, which means that your home’s energy consumption is equal to the energy it is able to produce, through renewable resources like wind and solar power. 

A rating of 100 is the equivalent to a standard new home’s energy efficiency. As the numbers go up, in increments of 10, your home is considered to be that percentage less efficient than the standard new home. Older homes often fall under the higher ratings, due to issues such as old sagging insulation or tiny cracks and holes that have developed over time compromising the performance and energy efficiency of the home.

As the ratings lower by increments of 10, this equates the percentage that your home is more energy efficient than a standard new home. 

How to Improve Your Current Home’s HERS Rating

While not every home is able to achieve this golden rating, there are many factors you can adjust that can positively impact your home’s HERS rating. For instance, replacing your home’s traditional insulation materials with spray foam insulation like Icynene can help your home’s energy efficiency immensely. This is due to Icynene’s ability to create an effective air barrier wherever it is applied, resulting in a reduction in your home’s air loss. This can lead to a reduced workload on your HVAC unit, which translates to lower monthly heating and cooling bills, as well as the possibility to “right-size” you heating and cooling systems.

There are other ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, too. Making sure all of your appliances and windows are ENERGY STAR certified, using low-flow water faucets, and recycling your old refrigerator, rather than using it as a secondary one in the basement can all help to lower your HERS rating, increasing your home’s resale value.

In the end, if your home has been given a higher rating than you expected, there are plenty of things you can do to improve it, no matter what your home’s current state is. And because all homes can have their HERS rating listed, when it’s time to sell, it really can make a difference, even in how many potential buyers come to look at your home.

Talk to a licensed Icynene spray foam insulation contractor in your area, to find out more about your home’s current HERS score, and how you can improve your rating.

 

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