Energy Smart Builder
Every Home Tested and Certified
HERS INDEX - WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Before you buy a home check the HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index first! Don't buy a home without it!
It is like a gas mileage sticker on your car! Would you buy a car without knowing the gas mileage of the car? Don't make that mistake on a home! What if your car salesman told you he'd checked it himself and they used the same parts as another car company and his car was just as good on gas but they chose not to have it tested by a 3rd party? Would you believe him...l hope not!
We go through strict testing and verification before receiving the HERS rating on our homes. There are 2 inspections that happen throughout the building process.
Inspection # 1- Before Sheetrock
An independent 3rd party inspects our homes before sheetrock is installed. We must have the following and other items installed and inspected before the energy rater will pass the home:
- Blown is wall insulation properly installed
- Proper framing techniques so there are no voids of insulation in the walls
- Use foil board decking to keep the attics cool
- Have proper ventilation in the attics with baffles and roof vents
- Install super-efficient HVAC Systems
- Mastic seal up our HVAC system and properly seal it all up to minimize leaking
- Install foundation insulation and sill sealer
- Properly install windows with taping and flashing pan
- Air and moisture barrier (sheathing and taping) behind the brick and siding
- Super seal the plates and penetrations throughout the home
- Insulate and sheetrock the space behind the fireplace
- Install the proper damming and insulation for pony walls and wall ends
- Seal around windows and doors properly
- Install low e windows with argon gas that meet the strict standards
- Install the correct can lights and light receptacles to reduce outdoor air infiltration
Inspection # 2
After the home is completed the 3rd party energy rater will return to the home to check the following and other items before the home will pass.
- Proper caulking of the HVAC vents
- Correct amount of attic insulation in the attic of our homes and proper coverage in the attic
- Ensure the AC outside your home is the proper super efficiency
- Blower door test- This is tested with a large fan hooked up to the front door area. Everything in the home is closed off. The fan and meter ensures the outside air infiltration is within the strict acceptable standards.
- Duct Blaster test- All the HVAC vents are sealed off and a fan is hooked up to a vent to ensure the duct system and the HVAC unit is not leaking air over the strict acceptable standard. This leakage if not checked would just waste energy and money by bumping the conditioned air into the attic.
Once the home passes all the rigorous testing Harbor Homes will give you the HERS index Certificate for your home. The testing is extremely strict and many times we have to make repairs to the performance of our homes and have them retested in order to get them to pass the strict standards. Once passed our homes range from 31%-38% more energy efficient than any other brand new home and close to 70% more efficient than used home. HAVE PEACE OF MIND that the home was inspected by nationally certified professional energy specialist.
Energy costs are only going to become more expensive in the future. By purchasing a HERS verified and tested home you will not only save money each month but you will leave a smaller carbon footprint while living in a Harbor Home.
Why don't other builders do this on their homes? The primary reasons are:
- Because it is very expensive to achieve a good HERS rated home. Not only labor and materials but equipment is much more expensive. The testing and verification by a 3rd party is also very expensive.
- It is time consuming and slows down the construction process considerably thus costing the builder money and causing more construction difficulties.
- They are not as concerned about the cost to operate and live in the home on a monthly basis nor about the carbon footprint the home leaves.
- Lack of understanding about the importance of energy efficiency and the cost of utilities for our new home buyers.
"Harbor Homes made communication so easy and we closed on our home very fast. I went to school for Construction Management and was taught how important post tension foundation is. Most builders donâ€™t offer it, so this was a big part of my decision to choose Harbor Homes. I'm so happy with my new home! "Goldstien Family