270 homeowners in Claremont have already retrofitted their houses—Find out why!
Home retrofits are an approach to fixing buildings that addresses comfort, energy efficiency, durability, health, and safety all at once, resulting in a home that is more comfortable, more durable, healthier, and safer.
The Benefits of a Home Retrofit:
1) Energy Savings
Nationwide, buildings are responsible for 49% of energy consumption. Individually, most homeowners pay far more than necessary to cover utility bills because of air leaks and poor insulation. By participating in the CHERP program, you will be working to reduce your own energy bills, while contributing to help reduce our national energy consumption and help mitigate climate change.
2) Improved Comfort
Drafty rooms in winter? Hot rooms in summer? The whole-house, home performance approach will increase the comfort of your entire home by addressing air leaks and defective insulation — identified by infrared thermal scanning and blower door testing — and air sealing and improving insulation where they’re needed.
3) Greater Building Resilience
By looking at building problems and addressing them at the source, a qualified home performance contractor is able to identify and remediate potential long-term problems in residential buildings including moisture and air infiltration, poor ventilation and structural problems.
4) Higher Resale Value
An energy efficient home not only provides dividends in the short term — through reduced energy costs — but in the long term, by increasing resale value. Particularly as energy costs continue to escalate, energy efficiency is an increasingly important real estate factor for prospective home buyers; and the additional benefits of home performance retrofits (greater comfort, air quality, durability) make an energy efficient home all the more attractive.
5) Indoor Environmental Quality
As part of the energy retrofit process, a qualified home performance contractor will evaluate potential sources of poor indoor air quality and take steps to eradicate them. This includes evaluating combustion equipment for safe operation, and measuring ventilation rates to ensure they are up to the latest safety standards.
Best-of-class contractors are certified in diagnosing the interdependent energy systems in your home, as opposed to a single-measure, basic-rebate contractor’s service. Some examples of what a best-of-class contractor can do are: carbon monoxide safety testing, attic insulation installation, air duct redesign, window replacement, certified Build It Green “green labels,” and much more.
An energy assessment is a key step to understanding the overall level of health and functioning of your energy systems. An auditor explains how and why your home is costing you money, then prioritizes steps to knock down those costs. After this, your best-of-class contractor will provide you with a Master Plan that outlines the most cost-effective upgrade options and their recommended loading order.
Whether you choose a comprehensive retrofit right now, or a staged (“phased”) retrofit, your home will be more comfortable, durable, and energy efficient, leaving you and your family as happy, healthy homeowners.
Contact the Claremont Energy Challenge and we will help you find a contractor that is the right fit for your home. When you contact us about your home retrofit, we will provide you with the following:
1. Access to HEA.com, where you can track your daily energy usage online.
2. A certificate for a free home energy assessment with a best-of-class contractor!
3. A CHERP sign for your yard so that you can join the Claremont energy movement!
Resources for Retrofitting
Home Retrofitting FAQs
Renewable energy tends to get more attention than energy efficiency, largely because it’s often more tangible. A solar panel on your roof is visible, and you know that it’s working. Insulation in walls, however, often tends to be forgotten. In truth, however, energy efficiency is usually far more cost-effective than renewable energy, and should always be addressed first, before renewable installations are done, in order to ensure that you don’t install more renewable energy than you need.
Home Performance is an approach to fixing buildings that addresses comfort, energy efficiency, durability, health and safety all at once. A home performance upgrade may consist of a combination of measures including insulation, air sealing, and more; and results in a home that is more affordable to operate, more comfortable throughout the year, more durable, and healthier and safer for your family.
A home energy assessment is the first step in improving your home’s energy efficiency. It typically involves a visual inspection, a blower door test, infrared thermal imaging, combustion safety testing, and a written report detailing where your home’s problems lie and how they can be most effectively addressed.
A huge source of energy waste in most North American homes is a lack of “air sealing.” Basically, this means that cracks and gaps in the building envelope (primarily in the attic and basement) allow conditioned air to escape. Often, these cracks and gaps add up to the equivalent of leaving a medium sized window open year round. Air sealing, consequently, is the home energy upgrade that is often most effective at achieving drastic energy savings with relatively little cost.
While most modern homes contain some amount of insulation, the majority are still poor energy performers. This is unfortunate, but it also means that even homeowners in new homes have an opportunity to vastly reduce their energy bills through properly installed insulation and other retrofit upgrades.