Learning how your house is using energy helps improve the comfort of your home
The home energy audit, conducted by an efficiency expert, consists of a series of tests designed to pinpoint air leaks, test insulation levels and gauge the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems. Ultimately, learning how efficiently your house is using energy will help you prioritize key projects and improve the comfort of your home.
Following a phone assessment, you will arrange for an energy auditor to come to your home to conduct a basement-to-attic assessment of your residence. The auditor will inspect your home’s insulation, heating and cooling systems and overall home energy use. You may also be asked for a list of any existing problems like drafty rooms or window condensation as well as past utility bills.
An auditor has an array of tools to detect sources of energy loss including equipment such as blower doors, infrared cameras, furnace-efficiency meters and surface thermometers. During the audit, it’s a good idea to walk through your home with the auditor to pinpoint areas of concern that will help them determine their approach to testing.
At the end of the audit, your home will be given an energy rating using the Natural Resources Canada home evaluation system. The higher the rating, the better. You’ll also get recommendations for improvements to help reduce your energy bills and increase your home’s comfort.
Recommended changes may include simple DIY jobs such as applying weatherstripping on windows or installing a door framing kit. Other changes, like increasing attic insulation or choosing to replace inefficient heating or cooling equipment may require hiring a contractor. In addition, there are also incentives to replace old electrical appliances with new ENERGY STAR®-certified models.
Addressing these issues can reduce up to 30 per cent of your home’s energy use. Implementing changes around your home will make it more comfortable, quiet and draft-free. Plus, homes that are energy efficient increase their resale value by up to three per cent.