Our new home has a HERS Index rating (yay!). We walked through a lot of homes where the sales person proudly exclaimed that the home we were visiting had a HERS rating of 64 (or 59 or whatever). And being a little cheeky, I’d ask “ok, so what does that mean?” Only a handful of the sales people could explain what a HERS rating is and only a couple of them went on to tell me what the HERS rating meant to us and our living experience in that home. What an opportunity!
The HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index is a measure of the energy efficiency of a home and is a great way to communicate how energy efficient a home is in comparison with other homes. The lower the number is, the more energy efficient the home is – similar to the miles per gallon rating for a car.
What I felt got missed in most of these conversations was the opportunity to talk about why that lower HERS Index rating is so crucial to being comfortable in a home. Study after study show that people do care about energy efficiency in our homes, especially about how it affects our personal comfort. Comfort is key! Yes, the money we save on our utilities matters and it may help fund home improvements to make us more comfortable, yet most of us make home improvements based on comfort (and how it looks too).
Energy efficiency does affect our pocketbooks, and our collective energy use affects the community and world around us in many ways. So, if we can improve our personal living experience in our home, save some money in the process AND have a positive impact on our greater world, why the heck aren’t we all running out to improve our living experiences in our homes?
Perhaps you’ve not yet done something because you aren’t sure where to start. Perhaps it feels like a hassle to figure it out. And it may be. But it doesn’t have to be.
How about starting with a few simple things to be more comfortable in your home? I’m guessing there are a few pet peeves you have with your comfort in your home. Perhaps there’s a draft on your feet when you sit to read in your favorite chair, or the light next to your chair gets too hot. Many comfort issues are pretty straightforward to address once you know what they are.
If you’d like to go beyond a few simple things or have a particularly mysterious comfort issue in your home, have an energy check-up (a.k.a. an energy audit, yet “audit” is such a scary sounding word) performed by an energy professional. Energy efficiency can be significantly improved for any home; it just takes an understanding of the basics of energy efficiency.
To learn more about the basics of energy efficiency and resources to boot, check out the Green Gab Podcast Zip Up the Coat of Your Home – Energy Efficiency Basics. You can catch it on iTunes too (just be sure to search for “Green Gab Podcast” to bypass the Anne of Green Gables entries). I’d love a comment or rating on iTunes too. Your feedback is so important!
For more information about green homes and green living, check out www.GreenHomeCoach.com.
Every week on iTunes and The Green Gab Podcast, get the gab with us as we share what we’ve done, as well as tips for greening up your home, your job, your family and your life! Get in on the gab for why green matters – to you, your family and friends and your community.
I’d love to speak at your next event – for ideas check out my speaking information. Thank you and have a blessed day