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Home Performance is a building science based approach to evaluating the actual performance of a home as measured by the resulting energy savings, comfort level, and air quality. It aligns with an overall belief that properly performing homes should be safe, healthy, comfortable, durable, and efficient.
After all, homes — probably the biggest investment most of us will ever make — are one of the few things we purchase that don't come with an instruction manual. Is a home comfortable? Reasonably energy efficient? Safe and healthy? These are all considerations that a homeowner will either take for granted (we would assume, after all, that the air inside a home wouldn't be a potential health hazard), or simply neglect.
These are the considerations that a Home Performance Professional sets out to address, while taking into account the interconnectedness of homes, and the relationships between each of the home's components. In accord with this holistic approach, a home performance contractor will assess, and then address, any of these potential problems within a home.
As mentioned above, Home Performance is based upon what we call the 5 pillars of home performance:
- Safety: Assessing the safety of a home is an important part (maybe the most important) of a home performance contractor's job. Backdrafting appliances that may be sending carbon monoxide into the home, for example, is a potential safety issue that a Home Performance Professional is trained to address.
- Health: Indoor air quality is listed by the EPA as one of the top environmental threats to human health. A Home Performance Professional can identify issues affecting your home's indoor air quality and recommend remediation to protect you and your family's health.
- Comfort: Our home is our refuge. It should be comfortable. Drafty rooms, cold spots, unpleasant humidity and heat in the summer, damp basements - are all avoidable unpleasantries. A home performance contractor can help by locating sources of unnecessary air movement, looking for any moisture issues, and identifying poor or missing insulation.
- Durability: Imperfections within a building, in addition to causing discomfort-raising health concerns, can also have long term repercussions. Moisture problems causing rot in framing, or insufficient insulation causing ice dams, are among the durability concerns that a Home Performance Professional can pinpoint for remediation.
- Efficiency: Last but not least, home performance is about ensuring that a home is cost effective to live in. If a mechanic told you that a few simple improvements could drastically improve the fuel efficiency of your car, that's something most of us would jump on. That's what a Home Performance Professional does for your house.
What is Home Performance?
When you buy a car, you expect good gas mileage with low upkeep, safe handling, and comfort inside. In other words, respectable performance. Why would you have any other expectations for a house? The ability of your home to deliver comfort, health, and affordability is what a Home Performance Assessment is all about. Is the home functioning at its optimum? Or are there deficiencies and inefficiencies? An assessment can often determine which cost effective items can improve the performance of your home most!
Are you new to Home Ownership?
Make sure you look at the suggestions on my Renovations page; more useful information on my Real Estate Pages; and an excellent read on the Building Science Corporation's website: The Building Science Guide to Home Ownership! See my LINKS page for more.
Of course, feel free to call (718.941.3725) or email me with questions and concerns!