It’s pretty clear that empowering informed consumers is mutually beneficial for the seller and buyer. Mileage estimates helped spur demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles. ENERGY STAR® labels on appliances have done the same thing. The growing adoption of green categories such as Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS) in real estate listings like Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in nearly half the United States is the most recent example. It’s also a powerful indicator of how important a home’s entire energy performance has become – and why every facet of a house’s construction is ultimately a key player in proving overall value and efficiency to homeowners and home buyers.
What is HERS?
A number-based rating system that grades homes based on energy performance, a HERS Index Score is an indicator of how energy efficient a home is compared to similar homes. The lower the HERS Index Score, the more energy efficient the home. A score of 100 is set as the reference point for a standard home of similar build. Prospective buyers can use HERS Index scores to comparison-shop homes based on their energy efficiency much like they do when shopping for appliances and cars.
Why should contractors and remodelers pay attention?
More and more builders, remodelers and contractors are using HERS scores to market the lower cost of ownership. As more MLS listings add HERS scores to all listings, this measurement will be equally critical for existing housing stock. By providing a HERS score as part of the building or remodeling process, contractors can help homeowners understand how the design and product specifications will deliver energy savings in the near-term and improve a home’s measurable value over the long-term.
How is a HERS score calculated?
A RESNET-certified professional uses performance testing in addition to energy modeling software to calculate the score. Some variables included in a HERS score are:
· All exterior walls (both above and below grade)
· Floors over unconditioned spaces (like garages or cellars)
· Ceilings and roofs
· Attics, foundations and crawlspaces
· Windows and doors, vents and ductwork
· HVAC system, water heating system, and your thermostat
· Air leakage of the home
· Leakage in the heating and cooling distribution system
Visit our website for more information on how Andersen® windows are designed to help maximize energy efficiency.