Preparing For Your Home Energy Score
*Before your Home Energy Assessment, locate and have ready any documentation relating to energy efficiency updates that have been performed on the house.
Any walls or floors between condition and unconditioned space should be insulated. This includes floor joists between a crawlspace and the living space above, exterior walls, the joists between a room in the attic above, and attic knee walls. High efficiency heating and cooling equipment are excellent investments, but their efficiency is limited if the air they condition is passing through walls and floors to unfinished areas of a home. Insulating ductwork, foundation walls and rim joists will also increase efficiency and raise the Home Energy Score.
Replace Aging Appliances
As an inspector I have seen many furnaces that are 20+ years old and still working fairly well. Though these furnaces may still provide warm air on a cold night, they are doing with an efficiency far below modern equipment. A 78% efficient furnace may have been a top of the line appliance decades ago, but some modern models achieve efficiency rates of 98%. The same advancements in efficiency can be seen with air conditioners and water heaters (to a lesser degree). Replacing older inefficient heating and cooling appliances can be a costly endeavor, but it will certainly make a house more appealing to potential buyers and will undoubtedly be reflected in an increased Home Energy Score.
Have The Home Professionally Air Sealed
Newer homes are built with a much tighter envelope than older homes; there is far less transfer of air from inside of the house to the outside, and vice versa. Newer building products and techniques have been largely successful in limiting this transfer and consequentially increasing efficiency. One step that can be taken to make an old home "tighter" or less drafty is to hire a contractor to professionally air seal the house. Spray foam, caulking and foam gaskets are used to seal drafty areas such as penetrations of the home's exterior envelope, joints in the intersection of the sheetrock at ceilings and walls, and behind switch plates and receptacle covers.