Energy Ratings for Existing Homes

A home with HERS index and dollars (saving money)

National model energy codes for building first appeared in the 1970s, largely due to the energy and economic crises during that decade. The first national code for residential and commercial buildings came out in 1975. All homes that were built prior to 1975 were built without any mandated insulation levels. Since 1975 insulation and efficiency standards have been continuously updated as the benefits have been more completely recognized and understood.

It’s easy to tell efficient houses from inefficient houses in the winter when snow covers house roofs. On well insulated houses the snow stays looking like a thick white blanket. On poorly insulated homes there are ice dams and icicles at the roof edge.

A blower door tool to identify house leakage

In diagnosing and identifying house leakage areas one of the best tools is a blower door. Using this apparatus we are able to depressurize a house to magnify where air is leaking. After having identified these areas we can propose a plan for correcting the air leakage areas. While not all areas of existing homes can be easily accessed to provide remediation, we can often provide a plan that will reduce energy use and annual costs, while increasing comfort.

Our inspection includes a complete assessment of your home’s “Thermal Envelope”. The thermal envelope idea is that the conditioned space (heated and cooled) within your home wants to be completely surrounded with an insulation barrier between you and the unconditioned elements outside. Breaks in the thermal envelope greatly compromise the ability of your heating and cooling systems to meet your conditioning needs.