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What is the HERS Index?

One of the primary reasons people buy new homes and look for an experienced Chesterfield VA home builder like LifeStyle Home Builders is the increased awareness of energy efficiency in homes. Older homes may have history, but they also often have lousy insulation, windows that don’t help regulate the temperature, and drafts galore. On the other hand, new homes are built to new guidelines and industry standards, which include a greater focus on energy efficiency, from the construction of the home to the appliances used in the home. To ensure you’re getting a truly energy efficient home, you want to be familiar with the HERS Index.

The HERS Index stands for the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). This index is the industry standard for measuring a home’s energy efficiency. The system is nationally recognized for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance.

By having this home energy rating performed on your new home, you can anticipate the costs of your energy bills and decide if there are additional efficiency upgrades you want to include. The rating is performed by a certified Home Energy Rater, who assesses the home’s energy efficiency and assigns it a relative performance score. In this case, you want a low score. The U.S. Department of Energy finds that a typical resale home scores 130 on the HERS Index, with a standard new home receiving a typical rating of 100. Many new home builders aim for even lower scores in the 60s and 70s.

When calculating your home’s score, the rater tests your home and then compares it to a reference home. With new homes, that’s often a designed model home similar in size and shape to yours to get the best comparison.

When purchasing a home, new or old, it’s a good idea to have your home rated to see where your home falls on the scale and if improvements need to be made. Of course, buying a brand new home from a leading Chesterfield VA home builder like LifeStyle Home Builders is likely to result in a great score. The cost of buying a new home may end up being much lower than you expected, thanks to lower energy bills, not to mention not having to repair and replace your home and appliances for years to come. If you want to learn more about our building process, contact us today to discuss the energy efficiency of all of our homes.

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