Home energy efficiency is becoming an increasingly important consideration for homeowners in Canada. Energy-efficient homes can save homeowners money on utility bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help combat climate change. A home energy audit is one way to assess your home’s energy efficiency.
A home energy audit comprehensively assesses your home’s energy use and efficiency. It involves a detailed evaluation of your home’s heating and cooling systems, insulation, lighting, and appliances and an analysis of your energy bills and usage patterns. By conducting a home energy audit, homeowners can identify areas where energy use can be reduced and make cost-effective improvements to increase energy efficiency.
How a Home Energy Audit Works
A home energy audit involves thoroughly assessing a home’s energy use and efficiency to identify areas where energy can be saved, and costs can be reduced. The process typically consists of a combination of visual inspections, tests, and measurements to evaluate various factors that affect energy use and efficiency:
- The auditor will start by assessing the home’s building envelope, including walls, floors, and ceilings, to determine the level of insulation and air sealing. The auditor may use a thermal imaging camera to identify areas where heat loss occurs.
- The auditor will conduct a pressure test. A pressure test is used to identify air leaks and areas of insufficient insulation in a home. During the test, a blower door is installed in an exterior doorway of the house, and the home is depressurized to a specific level. The blower door measures the airflow required to maintain the specified pressure level, which can be used to calculate the overall air leakage of the home. The pressure test can identify specific areas of air leakage, such as around doors, windows, or electrical outlets, and areas of insufficient insulation.
- The auditor will evaluate the heating and cooling systems in the home, including the furnace, air conditioner, and ductwork. They will assess the age and efficiency of the systems and evaluate their performance to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce energy use.
- The auditor will evaluate the home’s lighting and appliances, assessing the efficiency of light bulbs and other fixtures and the energy use of appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and laundry machines.
- Once the audit is complete, the auditor will provide a report outlining the assessment results and recommendations for energy-saving measures. This may include suggestions for upgrading insulation, replacing heating and cooling systems, and switching to more energy-efficient lighting and appliances. By implementing these recommendations, homeowners can increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.
Results and Recommendations from a Home Energy Audit
The results and recommendations of a home energy audit can provide valuable insight into a home’s energy efficiency and identify areas where energy-saving measures can be implemented. The audit report typically includes a summary of the findings and recommendations for energy-saving improvements. Some of the most common recommendations include the following:
Upgrading the insulation – This can involve adding insulation to the attic, walls, and floors to improve energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs. It may also include sealing air leaks in the building envelope, such as around windows and doors, and adding weather stripping.
Upgrading heating and cooling systems to more energy-efficient models – This can involve replacing an old furnace or air conditioner with a newer, more efficient model or upgrading to a heat pump system that can provide both heating and cooling.
Upgrading lighting and appliances – The audit may recommend upgrading to more energy-efficient lighting and appliances, such as replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs and replacing old appliances with Energy Star-certified models.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
There are several benefits to conducting a home energy audit:
An energy audit can help homeowners save money on utility bills by identifying areas where energy is wasted and recommending cost-effective solutions to improve energy efficiency. By implementing the recommendations provided in the audit report, homeowners can reduce their energy consumption and save money on their energy bills.
A home energy audit can also improve indoor air quality and increase overall comfort for occupants. By identifying areas of the home where air is leaking in or out, an energy audit can help reduce drafts and improve temperature control, resulting in a more comfortable living environment.
A home energy audit can help combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint by improving energy efficiency and contributing to a more sustainable future.
A home energy audit can provide valuable information for homeowners who are planning renovations or upgrades to their homes. By identifying energy-saving measures that can be implemented during renovation projects, homeowners can ensure that their upgrades are as energy-efficient as possible.
A home energy audit can lead to government rebates for energy-efficient upgrades. After conducting an energy audit, homeowners may be eligible for rebates for insulation upgrades, heating and cooling system upgrades, and other energy-saving measures. For example, under the Canada Greener Homes Plan, homeowners can receive up to thousands of dollars toward eligible expenses. These rebates can help offset the cost of energy-efficient upgrades and encourage homeowners to make environmentally friendly home improvements.
Encouraging homeowners to take action to reduce their energy consumption and increase energy efficiency is an essential step in combating climate change and protecting our environment. A home energy audit is a valuable tool for homeowners in Canada to assess the energy efficiency of their homes and identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption and save money on utility bills. By embracing energy-efficient practices and making improvements to our homes, we can all play a role in building a more sustainable future.