Have you heard of HERS? Those letters stand for a Home Energy Rating System Index score. This important yet often overlooked number is a great way for a homeowner or potential homeowner to assess a home’s energy performance. It’s worth taking a moment to read up on HERS and what it means for your monthly expenses.
What is HERS?
The HERS Index is a nationally recognized system for assessing and calculating your home’s energy performance. It’s the industry standard for home energy efficiency measurement. Since your energy costs are typically one of, if not the highest of your monthly bills, it’s an important figure to understand.
Why do I need to know my HERS score?
If you already own your home, your HERS score will help you make choices about improvements and changes you may want to plan. If you’re considering buying a home, this score will help you predict just how much that home will cost you every month after the mortgage is paid. If you’re selling, this is an excellent selling point a way to get top dollar for your home.
How do I get a HERS rating?
If you’ve never heard of HERS and don’t know what your home’s rating is, there are ways to have it assessed. A certified Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) agent will come to assess the home. RESNET is a respected rating organization and you can contact them through their website to schedule an appointment.
What is used to determine my HERS score?
The agent will look at a number of variables to determine your score. Square footage is always a consideration as is the construction (slab vs. crawlspace). Here are a few other items the agent will look at:
- He’ll find out how much of your exterior walls are above or below grade.
- Ceilings and roofs.
- Flooring, especially that over unconditioned spaces like the garage.
- Doors, windows and vents.
- Air leakage. He’ll look for leakage in the home and within the system itself.
What does my score mean?
The lower the number, the more efficient your home is at using energy. It means you have to use less power to get your desired result. That means a lower power bill and a lower cost of living. A higher score tells you about the improvements or modification you can make in order to improve your score.
Your HERS score is pretty powerful stuff!