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 contractor 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:
1) 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, unsafe levels of formaldehyde from building materials, are all potential safety issues that a home performance contractor is trained to address.
2) Health: Indoor air quality is listed by the EPA as one of the top environmental threats to human health. A home performance contractor's job is to ensure that your home's indoor air quality is not a threat to you or your family's health.
3) Comfort: Our home is our refuge. It should be comfortable. Drafty rooms, cold spots, unpleasant humidity and heat in the summer, poor quality lighting or incandescent lighting that creates unnecessary excess heat in the summer, are all avoidable unpleasantries. A home performance contractor can help.
4) 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 contractor will pinpoint, then tackle.
5) 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 contractor does for your house.