Home Energy Audits, HERS Ratings, Blower Door Tests, and More…
As home inspectors, we are actively in-tune with modern energy requirements. Because of this, we created Scott Energy Services, a division of Scott Home Services, LLC, dedicated to helping homeowners and builders meet their energy requirements.
The builder and contractor community is under pressure from the ever changing energy codes (IECC) to build houses more energy efficiently, and to meet specific and sometimes stringent standards. Most of these energy standards require addition plan preparation (i.e. RESchecks and HERS Ratings) and on-site testing (Blower Door and Duct Leakage testing.)
With our home inspection experience, together with our energy efficiency expertise, we can help expedite the process of meeting your energy needs by providing all the required energy services, plus high-quality customer services and technical support.
A blower door is a machine used to measure the air-tightness of buildings. It can also be used to measure airflow between building zones, to test ductwork air-tightness and to help physically locate air leakage sites in a home. The blower door is temporarily setup in an outside door, and air is pulled out of the home, while the auditor goes from room to room finding air-leaks, typically with an infra-red camera.
An Energy Audit is a specialized inspection of a home with an emphasis on reviewing items related to energy efficiency. Included is a review of Insulation levels, Air-Leakage concerns, Window performance, Heating-Cooling system efficiency, Water-Heating efficiency, and Lighting-Appliance recommendations. Includes Infra-Red scans of the home.
A Home Energy Rating, performed by a Certified HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Rater, consists of a full visual analysis of the energy-related components and aspects of the home, along with testing of the home including blower door testing and duct leakage testing. The data collected about the home is then entered into a software program that models the home’s energy performance and produces a score relating to the energy efficiency. A HERS Index of “100” represents the energy use of a new “American Standard Home” that meets the performance requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code. An index of “0” indicates that the building uses no purchased energy (net zero building). The HERS Index is a linear metric where every percentage that a building’s energy use is reduced represents a decreased point reduction on the index.
RESNET Establishes rules for the energy rating industry
In 1995 RESNET was founded to develop a national market for home energy ratings and energy efficient mortgages. One main goal of RESNET was the development of standards for quality of rating services. The standards set the national procedures for home energy ratings, and include testing and accreditation for raters and providers, development of verification processes for homes meeting ENERGY STAR® and energy efficient building standards, as well as meeting local Energy Code compliance.
The home is compared to a hypothetical reference home which is based on the IECC 2004, and the home is then provided with a rating. The rating can be a numerical HERS rating or a ‘star’ rating based upon ENERGY STAR® requirements.
A certified HERS Rater follows a prescribed standard for how a home is measured, verified and rated, and must comply with national standards to continue to perform certified ratings.
During an Energy Survey or Energy Audit, IR scans of the home are performed in an effort to identify issues that may not be detectable with a standard visual inspection.
Insulation Status in Walls and Vaulted Ceilings – the walls and vaulted ceilings of the home will be scanned and reviewed, to help determine the status of the insulation present, whether gaps and voids exist, and whether missing areas are present.
Moisture Issues – during the scanning of the home, potential moisture issues or hidden leaks may be detectable that would otherwise not be seen with a visual review. If areas of moisture are detected, a moisture meter can be used to verify the concern, prompting a recommendation for further evaluation.
Electrical Concerns – the electric panel can be scanned for over-heating and over-current conditions that may exist and not otherwise be visually detectable.
Hidden Roof Leaks – the roof sheathing in the attic can be scanned, looking for wet areas or potential leak areas that also may not otherwise be visually detectable.
Air Running Across ceiling in KitchenInfra-red technology is not without limitations, and is not perfect. The images presented need to be interpreted, and often further investigation is needed to verify the findings. The technology does not see through walls, but merely displays the surface temperature of the area being scanned. However, wet areas are usually colder, insulation gaps are colder or warmer, and electric concerns tend to be warmer.
As a tool available to a home inspector, infra-red technology provides another unique way to inspect a home. When combined with the experience of home systems and building science, and the knowledge of how to interpret the images being displayed, IR scanning can aid the home inspector in finding potentially hidden concerns.
An Energy Audit from Scott Home Inspection is a review of your home’s systems, taking an innovative whole-house approach to improving the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. For homeowners and Boulder permit applications.
In most Colorado counties, blower door testing is now a mandatory requirement on new construction and remodeled homes. We specialized in helping builders pass this test and have multiple inspectors trained to do so.
Preparing a REScheck Report is one method for validating compliance to the IECC Building Code. The report can be tedious to perform yourself, but our energy specialists can prepare the report fast & for a competitive price, nationwide.
With Mechanical System Specialists on our team, Scott Home Inspection can perform Manual J/D Reports on new homes for builders and architects, to calculate the heating and cooling load of the home and layout the basic duct design./span>
Read the Popular Mechanics article where our founder George Scott was interviewed regarding energy efficiency in homes. Our longevity in the industry can help you reach your energy efficiency goals and requirements.
Referrals From Our Longtime Builder Clients and Friends
Whitten Design Group
Our company designs custom homes in the Boulder, Colorado area. We’ve worked with Scott Home Inspection on 30 or 40 houses over the past 5 or 6 years. They’ve provided valuable guidance for us and our clients during the process of producing HERS ratings and Manual J/D reports. They have a lot of experience and have great insight as to making homes as energy efficient as possible. They also keep up with the latest code changes and building technology.
In addition, Scott Home Inspection routinely performs blower door and duct leakage tests for our projects. They are, by far, the company we prefer to work with for energy efficiency consulting. We heartily recommend them to our clients.
I am co-owner of SoBo Homes, Inc. in Boulder. We’ve been working with George and his team at Scott Home Inspections for years. We are a design build residential construction company that works primarily in the City of Boulder and Boulder County. SHI is our preferred company for all of our HERS ratings, blower door testing, duct leakage tests, Manual J/D reports, and Home Energy Audits. Due to COB and county requirements, we procure either a Home Energy Audit or a HERS Phase I, II, & III for virtually every one of our jobs. SHI has always done what they promise in a timely and professional manner. We anticipate continuing to work with them for years to come. George’s understanding of the requirements of different jurisdictions has always been a huge benefit of working with SHI.
I have worked with George Scott and Scott Home Inspection for the past ten years. They have done all of my testing for energy (HERS), duct leakage, blower door, insulation inspections, Manual J/D/S assessments and home inspections during this time. George and his staff are absolutely professional, timely, responsive and have the best customer service of anyone I’ve worked with. I won’t work with anyone else except Scott Home Inspection. I happily recommend them to anyone who needs these services and can give them the highest rating possible.
I am the owner of G Design LLC in Denver Colorado. We are a small architectural design company and we have worked almost exclusively with George Scott and Scott Home Inspections for 5 years now. They have performed our Energy Efficiency Calculations per IRC Chapter 11. They have done our Manual J/D Reports, HERS Ratings, Pre and Post Construction Blower Door Testing, ResChecks, Duct Leakage Tests and even Water Testing. I have worked with several Energy Code Specialists in the past and now I only call on Scott Home Inspections for my projects.