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What is HERS?

What is HERS?

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the industry standard by which a home's energy efficiency is measured. It's also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home's energy performance. Since 1999, HERS testing has been an active part of the California building code. The program was started to address construction defects and faulty equipment installations. HERS raters are responsible for verifying construction complies with current energy codes. The goal of the program is to create a consistent, accurate and uniform rating system based on a single statewide rating scale.

When Is HERS Verification Required?

All California homeowners and contractors are required to comply with the requirements of the California Code of Regulations Title 24, Part 6, Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings to meet the state’s energy goals and requirements. Most importantly, contractors must comply with all applicable California building standards. This includes using certified HERS raters to verify HVAC installations meet energy efficiency standards. Therefore, before starting a home improvement project, be sure to hire a state licensed contractor to make sure all permit and energy regulations are followed.

Description of the HERS Test

A HERS rating is an industry standard, by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. The HERS Index is based on a scale from 0 to 250. The lower the number, the more energy efficient the home. This relative rating is provided after HERS testing is completed and gives home buyers or homeowners insight as to how the home ranks on an energy efficiency scale.

HERS testing verifies proper installation and efficiency of new system. This is done by completing refrigerant charge test and duct test. New or current duct work must pass the minimum required leakage rate.

Below are three of the most common types of tests performed during HERS testing:

  1. Duct Test—A duct test measures the amount of air leaks in unconditioned areas from the duct system. The new or current duct work must pass the minimum required leakage rate. All duct work must be sealed and air tight.
  2. Refrigerant Charge (RC) —This test measures how well your air conditioning system performs and verifies that refrigerant levels were correctly charged and meet manufacturer specifications.
  3. Cooling Coil Airflow (CCA)—Used in conjunction with the refrigerant charge verification, this test measures the velocity of air flowing through your duct system during the air conditioning cycle.

Heating and cooling needs vary throughout California. As a result, there are 16 unique zones with their own requirements. This ensures that homes are built to be the most energy efficient for that area of the state. Contact us online or call (818) 341-3406 to and see how we can help you with your HVAC project. We offer free estimates and flexible financing.

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