HERS for Home Owners

Are you trying to figure out what HERS is and what the building inspector or your contractor is talking about? If this topic involves the heating and/or air conditioning system in your home then you are in the right place. If you would like to learn more about the Home Energy Rating System or getting a whole house audit then give us a call. 

So your heating and/or air conditioning system broke down or you decided it was time for an upgrade. Like all good citizens you want to make sure the law is followed, the work you are having done is by a licensed professional contractor, a permit is pulled with the local building authority, and the work is inspected by a local building official.  These steps protect you against future fines and penalties from the local jurisdiction for un-permitted work, and it gives you piece of mind knowing your warranty on your new equipment will be honored because the system was installed by a licensed contractor among many other things. And now you have to have HERS testing too???

This seems like a lot of bureaucratic non-sense but the fact is most home owners are un aware of how the heating and air conditioning system in their home works. Unfortunately many contractors are just as ignorant to what a compliant installation is. The local building inspector is only checking code issues regarding the local jurisdictions liability for permitting and approving the work done on your home. None of the permitting or building inspectors test the functionality or efficiency of the installation. Combine this lack of functional testing on your newly installed system with leaps in the technological sophistication over just the last five years and you end up with installations approved by the local jurisdiction which uses twice as much energy as needed, cost twice as much to operate, fail prematurely due to improper installation and leave the home owner with the same comfort problems they intended to address in the first place. Measuring the installed system operating conditions gives us the data needed to compare against the manufactures specifications to determine if the system will reach manufactures specifications for energy efficiency.


When you are investing $5,000 to $20,000 dollars into your home, your largest investment, and it is meant to last 15 to 20 years doesn't’t it make sense to have a third party inspection to make sure the minimum standards are met? According to National Comfort Institute the average home mechanical system is only delivering 57% of its capacity to the home. This means a five ton air conditioner is using approximately 17.5 kilo Watts an hour in energy but only 8.75 kilo Watts an hour of energy is making it into the home. If the gas tank in your car had a hole which allowed it to only hold 57% of the fuel you could pump into it, would you keep the pump running until it shut off? The delivered efficiency of a system which has had HERS testing done and meets the minimum compliance requirements delivers 63% of its capacity or about 11.02 kilo Watts of that 17.5 kilo Watts an hour a five ton system is pulling through your electrical meter. Proper installation would have the delivered efficiency over 95%. When I mention delivered efficiency here, I'm not talking about standard name plate data, I'm talking about how much energy the system uses versus how much of that energy actually reaches your home. For example a 95% efficient furnace delivers 95% of the energy from the fuel it burns to the air it is heating. If the 95% efficient furnace is leaking 30% of the conditioned air outside then you are defiantly not 95% efficient. 


Trust but verify. Most contractors are above board and do the right thing when it comes to installing a new system in a client’s house. These are the systems which deliver 51%. Most contractors are good at their job but need help when it comes to understanding how to get a system into compliance and what actions they must take to deliver the greatest value possible to the customer. These are the systems delivering 63%. The HERS raters at Anchors Aweigh Energy are the highest trained and most experienced energy auditors in California. We have the experience with every situation possible in a HERS rating and have always been able to help the home owner and contractor come up with a solution which results in a compliant installation. When requested, Anchors Aweigh Energy can assist in troubleshooting and system redesign to achieve the highest delivered system performance possible.

Call Anchors Aweigh Energy now to have your HERS questions answered



Anchors Aweigh Energy LLC  2307 Fenton Parkway #107-143, San Diego, CA 92108

www.aae-hers.com                  858-254-1189                     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.