“Efficiency First” (not a mantra or is it?) is a national nonprofit trade association that unites Home Performance Contractors and related businesses and organizations in the escalating fight against wasting of energy by the nation’s building stock. I believe in this movement and have committed to boldly and consistently express my belief that energy efficiency improvement in buildings is a worthy endeavor. In fact I am convinced that it must be the foundation on which any forward-thinking national energy policy is built. So, what is home performance, why it matters and why homeowners should care?
WHAT IS HOME PERFORMANCE?
Home Performance is a philosophy and a science based on the premise that homes should be comfortable, safe & healthy, durable and energy efficient. Home performance improvement, therefore, is a comprehensive “whole-house” approach to improving a home’s performance to achieve these values. After all, homes — probably the biggest investment most of us will ever make — are one of the few things we purchase that don’t come with an instruction manual. Is a home comfortable, reasonably energy efficient, safe and healthy?
Home Performance contractors are equipped to answer these questions, they are trained to provide a full range of performance related home improvements, including air sealing, duct sealing, ventilation, insulation, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, furnace and air conditioning upgrades.
Why It Matters
Identifying and improving the root cause of poor performing house components will help to create a long lasting comfortable, safe, healthy living environment for homeowners by solving drafty, weather beaten house problems. In additions, other benefits such as reduce maintenance costs, energy savings, and enhance indoor conditions are a result of a better performing home.
Reduce Maintenance Costs
An ideal home performance upgrade begins with a thorough physical inspection and evaluation of current household energy use. Based on this initial evaluation, a contractor will list and prioritize various improvements in a best practice sequence to suit your needs; of course, the cost will vary based on your home conditions. However, for most homeowners, even a modest investment in caulking, insulation and other basic upgrades can deliver significant improvement and make your home a more comfortable place to live year-round.
Most American homes waste 20 to 40 percent or more of the energy they consume; much of this waste can be eliminated through simple, cost-effective home performance improvement measures and not some austere conservation strategy, it is done automatically. The amount you save will depend on how efficient your home is now and what upgrades are done. A Home Performance contractor is equipped to provide estimates of energy savings for each upgrade along the spectrum prior to upgrade work.
Enhanced Indoor Conditions
A listing of the added benefits attributed to a performance improved home:
Cleaner indoor air
Consistent heating and cooling
Reduce incidences of Carbon Monoxide poisoning
Reduction of moisture-related mold problems
Enhanced Home Value
Why Homeowners Should Care
Improving a home’s performance is one of the most cost-effective ways to scale back harmful greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our nation’s dependence on costly energy imports (41 percent of our energy use is consumed by buildings). Improving home performance supports domestic job creation in construction and manufacturing and extends the impact of investments in sources of clean and renewable energy. In truth, improving home performance will foster a Cleaner Environment now and for future generations.
David Allen is recognized leader in building exterior improvement and home performance improvement in Boston. He is the Founder of Caledonia Construction, Inc., a company he co-founded in 2002. To discover more about Caledonia Construction, visit the company’s website at Caledonia Construction.
Visit our www.caledoniaconstruction.com for more detail on our company.