Sealing and insulating the “envelope” or “shell” of your home — its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors — is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. ENERGY STAR estimates that a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on their total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating.
What is Home Performance?
Building performance or home performance is a comprehensive whole-house approach to identifying and fixing comfort and energy efficiency problems in a home.
Energy audits are performed by energy auditors, also known as building analysts or consultants, which, in the United States, are usually certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) or the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)
Often overlooked in our climate is the option of the conditioned, or unvented crawlspace. This is when we use the Earth’s stable temperatures to minimize heat-loss and choose to control moisture in the crawlspace mechanically, rather than trusting the wind to remove moisture through foundation vents. Read up to see if a conditioned crawl is right for you: Building an Unvented Crawl Space
- Energy Star: “a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.”
- Efficiency First: “a national nonprofit trade association for the Home Performance workforce.”
- Home Performance Washington: “a membership organization which brings together residential energy professionals and service providers, conservation programs, educational institutions and other stakeholders to fight climate change and foster economic development by enabling a highly effective whole-house energy retrofit industry in Washington State.”
- The Building Performance Institute: “the nation’s premier standards development and credentialing organization for residential energy efficiency retrofit work.”
- Green Building Advisor: Green Building Strategies
- Green Building Advisor: Blower Door testing