You would never buy a car without knowing how many miles per gallon it got. You should treat your home the same way. Getting a house that leaks a significant amount of energy is just as bad as getting a gas guzzler of a car. When purchasing a home, you should get a Hers rating (Home Energy Rating) to see how efficient it is.
A Hers rating starts with an analysis of the home’s construction plans and puts those findings into a software program that results in a pre-construction Hers index. Then, there are some onsite inspections that determine if there are any “leaks” in the house. Blower door tests and duct tests analyze the leaks in the house and the ducts, respectively. The results from these tests and the plan review give the overall Hers rating.
Your rating will be scored on the Hers Index (above) which is a scale that shows how efficient the home is. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the house is. Additions to your home, like more efficient windows or thermostats, can lower the Hers rating of the property.
Hopefully, there will come a time when a Hers rating is just as common as the MPG rating of a car. It is important that the investment you’re making is one that is careful with its energy distribution and has a positive impact on the environment.