What is home performance?

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To better understand home performance, the benefits of effective home performance and the role of home performance professionals, we turned to the Building Performance Institute. Here’s what they had to say:

Most homes in the U.S. lose on average $100/month in wasted heating/cooling and electricity, and may suffer from comfort and indoor air quality problems. Home performance contracting is a comprehensive whole-house approach to identifying and fixing comfort, indoor air quality and energy efficiency problems in a home. Whole house improvements deliver significantly more energy savings than individual improvements alone, and maximize the efficiency of your entire house.

Some common improvements that will likely need to be addressed include:

Seal air leaks and add insulation.

This is the starting point. Sealing cracks and gaps in the building envelope and around windows and doors, and properly insulating attics and walls will improve efficiency and make your home more comfortable in all seasons.

Improve heating and cooling systems.

If your furnace or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, your contractor may recommend that you replace it with a more efficient unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR® label.

Repair ductwork.

The condition of your home’s ductwork has a direct impact on comfort and energy efficiency. That’s why it’s vital to seal leaks, make sure ducts are straight and properly connected, and insulate where needed.

Upgrade lighting, appliances, and water heating equipment.

These areas can account for nearly half your utility bill. That means there’s a big opportunity to save by installing ENERGY STAR® qualified products.

Replace windows.

Contrary to popular belief, replacing windows does not usually provide big energy savings for the house as a whole. But if it’s time to replace your home’s windows, your contractor may recommend ENERGY STAR® qualified models that are specific to your local climate.

Learn more about what you can do to enhance your home's performance in our FAQ: How can I enhance my home's performance?

Photo courtesy of ENERGY STAR