Information

What is HERS rating?

A Home Energy Rating (HERS) is a measurement of a home's energy efficiency. Home energy ratings can be used for either existing homes or new homes. A home energy rating of an existing home allows a homeowner to receive a report listing options for upgrading a home's energy efficiency.

The Homeowners may...

...then use the report to determine the most effective ways in which to upgrade the home's energy efficiency. A home energy rating of a new home allows buyers to compare the energy efficiency of homes they are considering buying.

A home energy rating can be used...

...to gauge the current energy efficiency of a home or estimate the efficiency of a home that is being constructed or improved.

A home energy rating of a home prior to construction or improvement is called a "projected rating." A home energy rating that is used to determine a home's current efficiency is referred to as a "confirmed rating."

 

Know Your Ducts

In houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems, ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout the house. But in typical houses, about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.

Some signs that your home may have leaky, poorly insulated, or inefficient ducts:

  • >>   you have high summer and winter utility bills;
  • >>   you have rooms that are difficult to heat and cool;
  • >>   you have stuffy rooms that never seem to feel comfortable;
  • >>   your ducts are located in an attic, unfinished basement, crawlspace, or the garage;
  • >>   you find tangled or kinked flexible ducts in your system.

 

Simple Steps to Improving Duct Performance

Because ducts are often concealed in walls, ceiling, attics, and basements, repairing them can be difficult. But there are things that you can do to improve duct performance in your house.

Start by sealing air leaks using mastic sealant or metal tape and insulating all the ducts that you can access. Never use duct tape, as it is not long-lasting. Also, make sure that the connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet the floors, walls, and ceiling. These are common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork.

High Utility Bills? Stuffy Rooms? Dusty House?

Coud Be Your Ducts

A duct system that is properly sealed and insulated can make your home more comfortable, energy efficient, and safer.Making improvements to your duct system can:

  • 1 Comfort

    Improve Comfort
    Sealing and insulating ducts can help with common comfort problems, such as rooms that are too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter.
  • 2Air Quality

    Enhance Indoor Air Quality
    Fumes from household and garden chemicals, insulation particles, and dust can enter your duct system, aggravating asthma and allergy problems. Sealing ducts can help improve indoor air quality by reducing the risk of pollutants entering ducts and circulating through your home.
  • 3Safety

    Promote Safety
    During normal operation, gas appliances such as water heaters, clothes dryers, and furnaces release combustion gases (like carbon monoxide) through their venting systems.Leaky ductwork in your heating and cooling system may cause "backdrafting," where these gases are drawn back into the living space, rather than expelled to the outdoors. Sealing leaks can reduce this risk.
  • 4Money

    Save Money
    Leaky ducts can reduce heating and cooling system efficiency by as much as 20 percent. Sealing and insulating ducts increases efficiency, lowers your energy bills, and can often pay for itself in energy savings. Plus, if you're planning to install new heating and cooling equipment, a well-designed and sealed duct system may allow you to downsize to a smaller, less costly heating and cooling system that will provide better dehumidification.
  • 5Protect

    Protect the Environment
    When power plants burn fossil fuels to make electricity, they release greenhouse gases. By sealing ductwork and using less energy at home, you can help reduce these emissions and fight global warming

Energy assessments take into account...

...different climatic conditions in different parts of the country and are benchmarked according to average household energy consumption particular to a given climatic region.

Ratings provide a relative energy use index called the HERS Index – a HERS Index of 100 represents the energy use of the "American Standard Building" and an Index of 0 (zero) indicates that the building uses no net purchased energy (a Zero Energy Building). The lower the value, the better.

Each 1-point decrease in the HERS Index corresponds to a 1% reduction in energy consumption compared to the HERS Reference Home. Thus a home with a HERS Index of 85 is 15% more energy efficient than the HERS Reference Home and a home with a HERS Index of 80 is 20% more energy efficient.