Welcome to
The CHERP Network:

Driving Energy Efficiency
and Economic Recovery

Level 3

Determine how close the contractor is to Best-of-Class business practices

These questions will help you understand what to expect from high-quality workmanship and best-of-class installation procedures for each measure. It will also teach you a lot about the details, techniques and procedures of what is being installed in your home, providing you with a basic level of competence in building science. If you are interested in reading more about building science and proper installation procedures and specifications, read the Measured Home Performance:  A Guide to Best Practices for Home Energy Retrofits in California and have it handy to discuss with your Home Performance Contractor.

1.     Comprehensive Energy Assessment and Carbon Monoxide safety testing – Do you provide the following information in your whole-house energy assessment?

  • Utility disaggregation
  • Inspection of Insulation levels in ceilings, walls, ducts and windows according to BPI
  • An evaluation of home’s leakage rate using blower door according to BPI
  • Bath exhaust fans tested and evaluated
  • HVAC system performance: delivered air-flow and duct leakage testing
  • CO safety testing of all combustion appliance zones and gas appliances according to BPI
  • Air-flow distribution analysis: air-flow volume and speed delivery to each room
  • Education about lighting, phantom loads, appliances and water use reduction techniques

2.     Air Sealing:

  • Are your crews certified in how to do air sealing according to BPI?
  • If my crawlspace needs to be sealed is that a service your company offers?
  • Can you provide me with a list of the areas in my home that might need air sealing and your methods for dealing with them? Cans, fireplaces, interstitial spaces, electrical and plumbing penetrations, crawlspaces, doors and windows. (the contractor who can show you 15 places may be more competent that one who only knows how to seal 2 or 3 places)

3.     Fresh Air Ventilation systems: what is your experience with this and how do you calculate whether or not my home needs this?

4.     Attic Insulation: attic insulation performance is greatly enhanced with proper air-sealing and other attic preparation measures. Describe the attic prep measures that you will perform in my home.

5.     Wall Insulation:

  • If I want fill tube insulation, can you do that?
  • Will you do an IR inspection of your work?
  • Can I be present for the IR inspection of the walls after installation?

6.     Ducts systems: Show your contractor the section on HVAC and Ducting installation specifications - Tips & Traps for HVAC (page 92)- and ask if they are willing to install the ducts and HVAC equipment according to those specs and then have the completed work inspected by a HERS Rater for verification (it’s required by law anyway J).

7.     HVAC systems: Show your contractor the section on HVAC and Ducting installation specifications - Tips & Traps for HVAC (page 92)- and ask if they are willing to install the ducts and HVAC equipment according to those specs and then have the completed work inspected by a HERS Rater for verification (it’s required by law anyway J).

8.     Solar PV: Will you allow me to purchase the system?

9.     Windows: Do you consider windows the highest priority for energy saving home improvements? Or are you willing to consider other methods such as insulation and air sealing first? 

10.  Green Labels for your home: Are you a certified Green Point Rater?