When it comes to weatherization and our search for comfort, there are lots of things homeowners can successfully accomplish on their own. Many of us have added weather-stripping or tightened up a door and these things may help, but may not make a huge impact on the comfort of the home.
A Home Performance professional is one that focuses on improving energy efficiency as well as comfort, health and safety in a home. The reason we encourage homeowners to hire a Home Performance professional when it comes to the efficiency, health and safety of their home is simple: It’s complicated. A house is a dynamic system with many parts that interact with each other. It is not just a heating or cooling unit, not just an attic with insulation (or one that is un-insulated), a drafty room, condensation on the windows, not just a bath fan or a damp basement, but an intricate system that needs to be maintained and tuned. No one expects a furnace to work well year after year without a tune-up and in fact it’s a health and safety issue if it isn’t maintained. The same goes for the home.
Hiring a professional to assess the home can help to establish a game plan, and in Home Performance may cover the work of a number of trades such as HVAC, moisture management, ventilation, insulation and air-sealing, and that is a good thing. The value for a homeowner is that they hire someone who understands the interactions in a home, not just one part. It helps them to make an informed decision.
Hiring a number of contractors to complete a project can work too, but it certainly is harder on the homeowner, and there is also a greater risk of some details being overlooked. Either way there may be some recommended measures that the homeowner will still want to take on and that’s ok too, since now they are making an informed decision and know what they are doing is worth the effort and investment.
Speaking of investment, often when a homeowner calls a professional to fix a problem such as comfort in the home, they think of it as an expense. The work of a Home Performance Professional not only addresses comfort issues, but by increasing the efficiency of the home, the improvements often pay for themselves at the same time. The cost of hiring a professional in this instance can be a real money saver.
This post can also be seen at elocal.com where we contibute as part of a panel of experts.