Construction

Unlock Your Perfect Home: Understanding the Benefits of HERS Rating in New Construction

Kind Reader, if you are looking to build a new home, you may want to consider obtaining a HERS rating. HERS stands for Home Energy Rating System, which is a scoring system used to evaluate the energy efficiency of a newly constructed home. With the rise in energy costs and the growing concern for the environment, finding ways to conserve energy has become a top priority. Obtaining a HERS rating for your new home is a great way to not only save money on energy bills but also reduce your carbon footprint. So, let’s explore the benefits of HERS rating new construction and how it can benefit you in the long run.

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What is HERS rating in new construction?


hers-rating-new-construction,HERS rating new construction,

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is a well-known tool that measures a home’s energy performance. It was developed by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). It is the industry standard for measuring energy consumption and calculating efficiency. A HERS rating can also be used to determine the potential energy savings and efficiency of a new home. The rating is based on a score of 0-100, where 0 represents a home with net-zero energy consumption and 100 is the score of a house that meets the minimum efficiency code. To get the HERS rating, energy professionals use sophisticated software approved by the RESNET. They analyze factors like insulation, windows, HVAC systems, lighting, and more. The final score determines the overall energy efficiency of the home.

How is the HERS rating calculated?

The HERS rating is calculated with the help of an energy audit completed by an energy professional. This audit includes a series of tests that evaluate different components of a home, such as the building envelope, heating and cooling systems, ventilation systems, and water heating. The information collected by the auditor is entered into the RESNET approved computer program HERS Software, which generates a HERS index score. The lower the HERS score, the more energy-efficient the home is.

What is a good HERS rating for new construction?

While a HERS rating of 100 is the baseline in the US, the scale is designed such that houses with negative HERS scores are possible (indicating that they produce more energy than they use), and houses can also score above 100. A low HERS rating means that the building uses less energy and has a smaller carbon footprint. A score of 70 or lower means that the home is 30% more efficient than the HERS Reference Home, which is the baseline home defined by the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). However, many builders aim for an even lower HERS score of 50 or lower, which means that the house is 50% more efficient than the IECC Reference Home.

Importance of HERS rating in new construction


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The HERS rating is a valuable tool for home buyers, builders, and real estate professionals. It helps consumers make informed decisions about the energy efficiency of a home, which can save them money on utility bills in the long run. A low HERS score also increases the resale value of a home and demonstrates the builder’s commitment to sustainability. For builders, the rating system can be used to identify areas of improvement and to showcase their environmentally conscious approach. In addition, many states and municipalities use HERS ratings to enforce energy codes, which results in better energy-efficient buildings overall.

The benefits of a lower HERS rating

One significant benefit of a lower HERS rating is lower energy bills. A more efficient home costs less to operate. Airtightness is essential, and energy-efficient insulation, windows, and doors keep the home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. More efficient HVAC, lighting, and water heating systems can also lead to significant cost savings over time. Moreover, a lower HERS rating means fewer greenhouse gas emissions, which can contribute to the fight against climate change. Buyers who are environmentally conscious are often willing to pay more for homes that have a lower carbon footprint and are more energy-efficient. Finally, a low HERS score can improve a home’s market value, making it easier to sell at a higher price.

Understanding HERS Rating for New Construction Homes


hers-rating-new-construction,Understanding HERS Rating for New Construction Homes,

When building or purchasing a new home, it is essential to understand the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score and what it represents. A HERS rating is a measurement of a home’s energy efficiency based on the performance of its windows, insulation, heating and cooling systems, and orientation. A lower HERS rating indicates a more energy-efficient home, while a higher score indicates poor energy efficiency.

The Importance of HERS Rating for Buyers and Builders

HERS rating is crucial to home buyers because it provides an objective way to measure a home’s energy efficiency and its potential for energy savings. The rating allows buyers to compare the energy performance of two or more different new construction homes to make a more informed decision. On the other hand, builders can market their homes better by achieving a lower HERS score than competitors. A lower score also ensures that the builder complies with the local building codes and regulations regarding energy efficiency.

HERS Rating Process for New Construction Homes

The process of HERS rating for new construction homes involves several steps. First, a certified HERS rater will inspect and test the home during different stages of construction, from the framing phase to completion. During these inspections, the rater will check the home’s insulation, heating and cooling efficiencies, ductwork, and air leakage rates, among other things. The rater will then score the home on a scale of 0 to 150, with a lower score indicating a more energy-efficient home.

It is worth noting that different states and municipalities have different requirements for energy efficiency and HERS ratings. Some may require a HERS score of 70 or lower, while others could require a score of 85 or lower. Builders should ensure that they comply with the local energy efficiency regulations in their area to avoid penalties and lawsuits that could arise from building homes that do not meet the energy standards.

No Term Definition
1 HERS Rating A scoring system used to rate the energy efficiency of a home, compared to a model code home.
2 New Construction Homes that are built using current building codes and standards.
3 HERS Index Score A numerical value assigned to a home based on its energy efficiency, with a lower score indicating higher efficiency.
4 Energy Star Standards A voluntary program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that sets energy efficiency standards for appliances and new homes.
5 Blower Door Test A test that measures the airtightness of a home, which can help identify areas where air leaks are occurring.

The Benefits of HERS Rating in New Construction


hers-rating-new-construction,Benefits of HERS Rating in New Construction,

One of the primary benefits of HERS rating in new construction is energy cost savings. With a more energy-efficient home, homeowners can significantly reduce their monthly utility bills. The HERS rating system provides an objective benchmark for measuring a home’s energy efficiency, making it easier for builders to design and construct homes that meet or exceed energy efficiency standards.

Increased Home Value

Another advantage of HERS rating is that it can increase the value of the home. A lower HERS index indicates that the home is more energy-efficient, and therefore, may be more attractive to potential buyers. According to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, homes with a HERS score of 50 (50% more efficient than a standard home) sold for 9.9% more than homes without a HERS rating.

Improved Indoor Comfort

HERS rating can also improve indoor comfort by ensuring that the home is properly designed and constructed to minimize drafts, temperature fluctuation, and air pollution. A comprehensive HERS rating includes an analysis of the home’s insulation, air sealing, and ventilation systems. Since indoor air quality is closely tied to energy efficiency, improved indoor comfort can also lead to better overall health for the home’s occupants.

Hers Rating System for New Construction


hers-rating-new-construction,HERS rating system for new construction,

New construction is required to meet updated codes for energy efficiency and HERS rating is one of the common rating systems for new construction. The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is a scoring system that rates the energy efficiency of a home and uses a scale of zero to 150. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home. The rating considers various aspects such as insulation, air filtration, heating and cooling systems, lighting, appliances, and energy-efficient building practices.

The Importance of HERS Rating System in New Construction

HERS rating system in new construction has many benefits. For builders and contractors, it adds the competitive edge to their business, contributing to higher sales and market share. For buyers and homeowners, it helps ensure that the home is energy efficient and reduces energy consumption and expenses. It also ensures that the home is more comfortable, healthier, and safer to live in due to improved indoor air quality. Additionally, an energy-efficient home has a lower carbon footprint, reducing the homeowner’s impact on the environment.

HERS Rating System Certification

HERS rating system needs to be performed by a certified HERS rater who is trained and qualified to provide HERS ratings. The certification program requires individuals to undergo training on building science principles and energy-efficient building practices. Then, the candidate must pass a national written test and a regional or national simulation test to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

HERS Rating Checklist for New Construction


hers-rating-new-construction,HERS rating checklist for new construction,

HERS rating checklist is a valuable tool for builders and contractors to ensure their construction meets energy efficiency standards and achieve a reduced HERS score. Knowing the elements of each checklist item can also allow homeowners to be involved in the process and identify issues during the construction process. Here are some key items on the HERS rating checklist:

1. Envelope items

The first step is to ensure the envelope of the building is airtight and has the necessary insulation. These items keep the elements out and the conditioned air inside.

No Envelope items
1 Airtightness of the building envelope
2 Insulation in the ceiling, walls, and floor
3 Window quality and orientation

2. Mechanical items

The second step is to ensure the quality and efficiency of the home’s mechanical systems, including the heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. These items ensure comfort and quality indoor air.

No Mechanical items
1 The efficiency of the heating and cooling systems
2 The size of the heating and cooling systems
3 Ductwork design and condition
4 Indoor air quality systems

Benefits of Having a High HERS Rating in New Construction


hers-rating-new-construction,Benefits of Having a High HERS Rating in New Construction,

Building new construction with a high Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating has multiple benefits for homeowners. First and foremost, a high HERS rating means that the home is much more energy-efficient compared to homes with lower HERS ratings. This increased energy efficiency leads to lower utility bills, saving homeowners hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year.

Improved Comfort

Having a high HERS rating in new construction means that the home is designed with better insulation, making it more comfortable to live in year-round. Proper insulation helps maintain the temperature inside the house, no matter the season or weather. This means that during hot summers, the house will stay cool and comfortable, and during cold winters, it will stay warm and cozy.

Increased Resale Value

Homes with higher HERS ratings typically sell for more money than those with lower ratings. This is because, in addition to the energy savings, buyers are attracted to the increased comfort of an energy-efficient home. Market studies have shown that homes with a lower HERS score take longer to sell and sell for lower prices than those with a higher score.

Benefits of HERS Rating for New Construction


hers-rating-new-construction,Benefits of HERS Rating for New Construction,

Aside from having a high energy-efficient new home, there are several benefits to having HERS rating for new construction. First, it gives homeowners the opportunity to compare their home’s energy performance with other similar homes. This will allow homeowners to assess if their new home is truly energy-efficient. Second, HERS ratings can help homeowners get financing for their homes by showing that their home is premium energy-efficient and has a high resale value.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

A new construction with good HERS rating ensures that the HVAC system functions perfectly. The HVAC system removes moisture and circulating air correctly, giving occupants good indoor air quality by preventing the growth of indoor pollutants and maintaining a comfortable temperature inside the home.

Energy Savings

The energy savings provided by a good HERS rating are significant. A better HERS score leads to lower energy bills, which are a substantial consideration for most homeowners. This energy savings translates into a lower monthly bill, which means long-term savings for homeowners. Additionally, a good HERS score can result in higher resale value for the home, which homeowners can benefit from.

How to Get Your Home HERs Rated


hers-rating-new-construction,How to Get Your Home HERs Rated,

First things first, you need to find a certified HERS rater in your area. The easiest way to do this is to visit the RESNET website and use their directory to locate a professional near you.

What to Expect During the Rating Process

Once you have found a HERS rater, they will visit your home and conduct a series of tests to assess your home’s energy performance. These tests include:

No Type of Test Description
1 Blower Door Test A test to measure the air tightness of your home.
2 Duct Leakage Test A test to measure the leakage of air from your home’s ducts.
3 Combustion Safety Test A test to ensure that your home’s combustion appliances are operating safely and not producing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
4 Infrared Camera Scan A test that uses an infrared camera to detect areas of your home where heat is escaping.

Based on the results of these tests, the rater will give your home a HERS score, which will range from 0 to 150. The lower your score, the more energy efficient your home is. A score of 100 is considered a “typical” new home, while a score of 0 is a “zero energy” home.

How Much Does a HERS Rating Cost?

The cost of a HERS rating varies depending on your location and the size of your home, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1,000 for the rating. Keep in mind that this cost is a small price to pay for the long-term benefits of having an energy efficient home.

FAQ on HERS Rating for New Construction

1. What is a HERS rating?

A HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating is a measurement of a home’s energy efficiency based on a standard evaluation process.

2. How is a HERS rating calculated?

HERS ratings are calculated by certified professionals who use specialized software to evaluate a home’s insulation, air leakage, heating and cooling systems, and other factors that influence energy use.

3. What is a good HERS rating?

A lower HERS rating indicates a more energy-efficient home. The HERS scale goes from 0 to 150, with 0 being a net-zero energy home and 150 being a home with significant energy waste. Typically, the average rating for new construction homes is around 100.

4. Do all new homes need a HERS rating?

Not all states require a HERS rating for new construction homes, but it is becoming more common as energy efficiency standards increase.

5. What are the benefits of a HERS rating?

A HERS rating can help homeowners understand their home’s energy use and identify potential upgrades to improve efficiency and reduce energy bills. It can also provide a way to showcase a home’s energy efficiency to potential buyers.

6. How much does a HERS rating cost?

The cost of a HERS rating varies depending on the size and complexity of the home, as well as the region it is located in. Generally, the cost ranges from $300 to $800.

7. Who can perform a HERS rating?

A HERS rating must be performed by a certified HERS rater who has completed specialized training and testing.

8. How long does a HERS rating take?

The time required to complete a HERS rating varies depending on the size and complexity of the home, as well as the experience of the rater. Generally, it takes between 3 to 5 hours.

9. When should I get a HERS rating?

The best time to get a HERS rating is during the construction process, before the home is finished. However, it can also be done after construction is complete.

10. Can a HERS rating be done on an existing home?

Yes, a HERS rating can be performed on any home, whether it is new or existing.

11. Will a HERS rating tell me how to improve my home’s efficiency?

Yes, a HERS rating can provide recommendations for improvements to increase a home’s efficiency, such as adding insulation or upgrading HVAC systems.

12. How long is a HERS rating valid for?

A HERS rating is valid for 12 months.

13. What is the Energy Star program?

The Energy Star program is a government-backed initiative that promotes energy-efficient products, homes, and buildings. Homes that earn the Energy Star label meet strict energy efficiency standards set by the EPA.

14. Do I need an Energy Star rating if I have a HERS rating?

No, an Energy Star rating is optional and not required for all homes, but it can provide additional recognition for homes that meet high energy efficiency standards.

15. What is the difference between a HERS rating and an Energy Star rating?

A HERS rating measures a home’s overall energy efficiency, while an Energy Star rating only applies to homes that meet specific energy efficiency criteria set by the EPA.

16. Can a HERS rating impact my home’s resale value?

Yes, homes with higher HERS ratings may have lower resale values compared to similar homes with better ratings due to increased energy costs.

17. Do all energy-efficient homes have a HERS rating?

No, while a HERS rating provides a comprehensive evaluation of a home’s energy performance, there are other standards and certifications for energy-efficient homes, such as the Passive House standard.

18. What is the average HERS rating for a new home?

The average HERS rating for a new home is around 100, while net-zero energy homes have a HERS rating of 0.

19. Can a HERS rating reduce my homeowner’s insurance premium?

Some insurance companies offer discounts for energy-efficient homes, but it varies by company and location. Contact your insurance provider to learn more.

20. Is a HERS rating required for new home construction loans?

Some lenders may require a HERS rating as part of the loan process to verify a home’s energy performance and reduce risk.

21. Does a HERS rating take into account renewable energy sources?

A HERS rating primarily evaluates a home’s passive energy features, such as insulation and heating/cooling systems. However, adding renewable energy sources like solar panels can improve a home’s efficiency and lower its HERS rating.

22. What happens if my home doesn’t meet energy efficiency standards?

If a home fails to meet energy efficiency standards, the HERS rater can provide recommendations for upgrades to improve efficiency. However, there are no consequences or penalties for not meeting efficiency standards.

23. How can I find a certified HERS rater?

You can use the RESNET Directory to find certified HERS raters in your area.

24. Does a HERS rating guarantee lower energy bills?

A HERS rating cannot guarantee lower energy bills, but it does provide a way to identify areas where energy use can be reduced and potential cost savings from upgrades.

25. What should I expect during a HERS rating evaluation?

During a HERS rating evaluation, the rater will conduct various tests, such as a blower door test to measure air leaks, evaluate insulation levels, and assess the efficiency of heating/cooling systems. The rater will also review building plans and documentation, such as HVAC specifications and insulation installation details.

Learn about the benefits of a HERS rating for new construction and how it can help improve energy efficiency and save you money on energy bills.

Until Next Time, Kind Reader!

We hope you found this article about HERS rating for new construction helpful and informative. Having a home that is efficient and cost-saving is important, and HERS ratings are a great tool to make that possible. If you have any questions about HERS ratings or would like to learn more, feel free to do some further research and visit us again later. Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you again!

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