Do you find it odd that performance isn’t usually considered when thinking of purchasing the biggest investments in our lives, our homes? However, if you look at appliances or think about purchasing a car, one of the selling points will be how much energy it uses and how the machine performs. Most foods you purchase you can easily find the nutritional statistics and true value before you pay for or consume it. If only it were that easy to analyze a piece of real estate before making the investment. An inspection is a good start but only discovers the tip of the iceberg.

When considering purchasing an existing home, an Energy Audit is where to begin to find out how the home truly performs and also determines where the vulnerabilities are so you know where to prioritize cost-effective improvement opportunities that will pay you back in savings every month for years to come.

A home energy audit involves a thorough inspection of your home, which can uncover hidden structural and safety problems before they cause major damage. For example, improper ventilation can cause mold or mildew growth, which you may not discover until it becomes severe and costly repairs are required. A RESNET Certified professional can prevent problems before they affect your health or damage your home.

HERS Index is a scoring system established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) in which a home built to the specifications of the HERS Reference Home (based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code) scores a HERS Index of 100, while a net zero energy home scores a HERS Index of 0. The lower a home’s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is in comparison to the HERS Reference Home.

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.

For every $1 decrease in annual energy costs, the market value of a home increases by $20, according to a study published in the Appraisal Journal. If you decrease your energy costs by $300 per year, the value of your home increases by $6,000. RESNET Certified professionals can verify measurable results of the improvements performed.