HERS Score of a House: Why Is This Important?

HERS Score of a House: Why Is This Important?

If you're looking to improve your home's energy efficiency, you need to fully understand your home. While single projects like replacing your air conditioner with a more efficient model will always help a little, getting the biggest savings for your dollar requires looking at the big picture. The HERS Score does exactly that.

What is the HERS Score?

The HERS Score measures the total energy efficiency of your home. A score of 100 indicates a home that was of average energy efficiency when the HERS Index was created in 2004.

For HERS Scores, lower is better. The average preexisting home up for resale has a score of 130, and this score means the home uses 130 percent as much energy as a home with a score of 100. Likewise, a home with a score of 80 uses 80 percent as much energy, or is 20 percent more energy efficient, than the baseline score of 100.

What does the HERS Score measure?

Unlike other energy-efficiency ratings, the HERS Score looks at a home's total performance and not just the energy used by a single appliance during certain seasons. The following items are rated and calculated in the HERS Score:

  • Heating and air conditioning systems including ducts and thermostats
  • Air leaks
  • Exterior walls, windows and doors
  • Ceilings and roofs
  • Insulation between heated spaces and unheated spaces (attics, garages, and basements)

What can you learn from the HERS Score?

The HERS Score can help you pinpoint exactly what projects to take on first. For example, if you have a low HERS score but an older, yet efficient furnace, you may want to consider upgrading your insulation before replacing your furnace. Similarly, if you have a very low HERS Score, you may be able to improve it with simple DIY projects like replacing your weatherstripping before moving on to more involved projects like adding insulation or replacing appliances.

To get help calculating your HERS Score or determining the next steps you should take, contact Stahl Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning today. We proudly serve Allegheny County and the surrounding Pittsburgh, PA, area.