HERS Testing & What Is It?

Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is the standard for how energy efficient a home is. California’s Energy Standards change every 3 years, so it’s important to make sure your contractor is following the latest energy code. As a homeowner, you want to ensure that energy savings measures were carried out in accordance with accordance with the regulations by the California Energy Commission (CEC). The highest energy spend in your home is in the central air conditioning and heating unit, so being energy efficient is a top priority among homeowners.  


Home Energy Rating System (HERS) testing should be done when you are selling, buying or building a home. If you’re selling, it helps determine the resale price. If you’re in the market to purchase a home, it helps you anticipate the cost of future energy bills and what energy upgrades you will have to make to the home. When building a home, the HERS test ensures the energy efficiency standards of the home have been met and are free from defect. 


All California HVAC contractors, home builders, and homeowners are required to comply with the California Energy Codes to meet the state’s energy requirements. HERS Testing must be done by a third-party professional HERS Rater to ensure honesty and accurate results. Samples HERS tests may include the following types of tests: duct, refrigerant, air flow, fan efficiency and blower.  HERS testing determines the energy efficiency of a home and determines whether HVAC and appliances meet the energy efficiency standards and are free from construction defects and improper equipment installations. The test is especially important when buying/building a new home or replacing your current HVAC unit to help determine how much you will spend on energy bills. A HERS test is required in California for newly built homes, new HVAC installation, replacement of an HVAC unit, relocation of a HVAC unit, or adding/replacing 40 or more feet of duct work. 

California building code requires a third party (HERS Rater) to perform the HERS testing. A HERS Rater is a certified professional that inspects the home and evaluates different energy features and determines the energy rating. The HERS test usually takes between 2 and 4 hours on average to complete for an HVAC installation. The test is REQUIRED by the State of California for all new homes and new HVAC installations as part of Title 24.