Home Performance with Energy Star Pairs Homeowners and Contractors

June 10, 2014

House by Shutterstock“Is your home cold, drafty, or uncomfortably hot?  Do you have high energy bills, ice dams on your roof, peeling paint or excessive dust?  These are common problems found in homes that may not be as energy efficient as they could be and can benefit from a whole-house energy improvement.  Investing in home performance work can make your home more comfortable, and at the same time improve its energy efficiency – saving you money on utility bills and helping to protect the environment, too.”

The Home Performance with Energy Star program pairs homeowners looking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes with local contractors that can help them.  Local sponsors in 34 states will help homeowners assess their homes and then connect the homeowners with a reputable contractor.

Contractors take a whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency.  They look at how improvements throughout the home can work together to improve efficiency.

The program suggests that homeowners follow these guidelines to help ensure that the energy efficiency investments pay off – not only by lowering utility bills, but also by improving comfort, enhancing indoor air quality, and ensuring safety.

  • Participating Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractors will conduct diagnostic tests, such as blower door and combustion safety tests, before and after the work is completed.
  • If you are not ready to perform all of the recommendations provided by the contractor, choose to make energy improvements in a logical order because they can affect one another.  For instance, in most houses the attic floor should be air sealed before installing attic insulation because it will prevent warm, moist air from migrating through the insulation.  Moisture in attic insulation can reduce its performance and potentially cause mold, roof rot, or ice dams to form on the roof.
  • Ask participating contractors about their plans for addressing combustion safety, indoor air quality, and moisture when making your energy improvements.
  • The quality of the installation is at least as important as the quality of the equipment and materials.  The contractor should be committed to following all manufacturer installation guidelines for insulation, heating and cooling equipment, and other components.
  • After the improvements have been made, make sure to follow the maintenance requirements suggested by the contractor and the equipment manufacturer.

For more information and to locate partners, visit the Energy Star web site.

Source: Energy Star

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock



Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.