Home Performance 101
Home Performance is an approach to building improvements that maximizes energy efficiency, comfort, health, safety, and building durability.
Home Performance understands that a home and all of its components are engaged in a symbiotic relationship, meaning, they are dependant on one another to function properly. If one were to change any element of a home, it would alter its entire functionality, whether that be positively or negatively. The elements of a home are its envelope, HVAC (Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning) system, water heating, appliances, and lighting.
Ask a window contractor, an HVAC contractor, or an insulation technician what the best way is to lower one's energy bills and how to make a room more comfortable, and chances are, you will get three different answers. Each individual will claim their services will solve those issues. A home performance contractor takes a little bit of a different approach, and will actually look at your home as a system to assess the problems in your home, and recommend the most effective solution, which is usually a combination of a few different things.
The questions a home performance contractor should be looking to answer are as follows:
Is the Home Healthy and Safe?
While this may seem odd, this is the most important aspect of the assessment and job. An experienced and good contractor will make sure that your gas appliances are not pouring carbon monoxide into your home, garage, or attic space, and also ensure there are no gas leaks. It is also important for a contractor to make sure the home will not be negatively affected in any way after the home performance upgrades are made. Remember when we said the home works as a system? If a home is sealed up to a certain amount without taking the proper steps, it could cause certain gas appliances to pour carbon monoxide into your living space- and that's what you DON'T want!
Is the Home Comfortable?
This is a problem that most people don't realize a home performance contractor can solve. Do you have certain rooms in your home that are warmer than others? Usually, the reason for uncomfortable rooms is usually a combination of poor duct design, poor HVAC installation, leaky ductwork, improperly installed or missing insulation, pressure imbalances, or not enough insulation. All of these problems can easily be solved with the right contractor that is specially trained to recognize the areas of defect!
Is the Home Efficient?
A home performance contractor and energy auditor looks at every compnoent of your home that could possibly be wasting your money away. With a few simple upgrades, homeowners often save 30% or more off of their heating and cooling bill. You wouldn't settle for a car that gets 8 miles to the gallon, so why settle for an energy hog of a house?