EnerGuide energy efficiency home evaluations
An energy-efficient home is comfortable, healthy, environmentally friendly and cost-effective. An EnerGuide home evaluation can help you understand how your home uses energy now – and identify retrofits to help improve energy efficiency.
An energy advisor will assess your home from basement to attic. This will give you an EnerGuide rating for your home and an energy efficiency report to help you make decisions about possible upgrades.
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What to expect from your home evaluation
EnerGuide Home Evaluation: Blower Door Test (Note: The video has no sound.)
An individual sets up a blower door test in a home. Note: The video has no sound.
After you book your appointment, the service organization may call you with a pre-evaluation phone call or email.
Key steps of the evaluation:
- The EnerGuide evaluation is carried out by an energy advisor who is registered with Natural Resources Canada and is a representative of the service organization you selected to book your evaluation. Your energy advisor will arrive at your home on the date and time you’ve arranged. If you need to cancel or reschedule your evaluation time, be sure to contact the service organization or your registered energy advisor directly.
- Before the energy advisor arrives, if you have a wood-burning appliance, please remove any ashes from the fireplace/appliance so that they are not drawn into the house during the blower door test. Also, please clear access to any hard-to-reach areas that the service organization or energy advisor has indicated are important in your pre-evaluation telephone call or email communications.
- The energy advisor will have a homeowner consent form for you, the Notice to Homeowner. Read, understand and, if you are comfortable with the terms, sign the form, which is required to authorize the evaluation to take place.
- Before getting started, the energy advisor will review the scope, intent and approximate duration of the evaluation, along with the general data collection process. All data and photos collected during the evaluation are strictly protected within the guidelines of all applicable privacy legislation. Photos will be taken of the outside portion of your home, its mechanical systems, the attic space and any wood-burning appliances, if present. These photos are for record keeping and quality assurance purposes only. One photo will be taken of the front of your house to appear in your customized report.
- During the evaluation, you and your energy advisor can discuss any plans and priorities you may have relating to energy efficiency upgrades to your home.
- If you are interested, the energy advisor will explain tools that are required to complete the evaluation, including the blower door testing equipment that is used to determine the airtightness of your home. If you have questions about any aspect of the evaluation, discuss these with your energy advisor.
- The evaluation often begins at the exterior of your home and then moves on to the interior. The energy advisor will measure and collect data about all of the elements of your home that impact its energy performance and then enter that data into an energy simulation software program that calculates your home’s EnerGuide rating. The data collected includes:
- the level of your home’s airtightness, using a blower door test;
- the insulation levels of your walls, ceilings and basement;
- the number, type and location of all windows and exterior doors;
- the size and efficiency ratings of your space heating, space cooling (air conditioning) and water heating equipment;
- information about any ventilation equipment; and
- any other information relevant to your home’s energy performance.
- The energy advisor will confirm the locations of attic, basement/crawl space accesses, mechanical equipment, etc. with you in the course of the evaluation. If clear access has not been provided in advance, they may request that you assist in providing safe and unobstructed access to these areas.
- If you have fuel-fired space heating or water heating systems, the space heating system will need to be turned down or turned off and the fuel-fired water heating system will need to be turned down to avoid the firing of the equipment during the blower door test. This is because the blower door fan could impact the proper operation of your gas appliances and cause safety issues during the evaluation. All equipment will be returned to pre-evaluation settings at the end of the test.
- Please don’t attempt to use your fuel-fired space heating or water heating appliances during the blower door test. For example, please refrain from turning up your furnace thermostat, taking a bath or showering, running the dishwasher or using your clothes washing machine.
- During the evaluation, please don’t use any wood-fired or other solid-fuel fired appliances in your home.
- Once the evaluation is complete, your energy advisor may discuss with you any related program information, potentially including survey requests. Feel free to ask any questions you have of your energy advisor. If they don’t have certain answers, they can point you in the right direction or follow up with you later.
- Before wrapping up, the energy advisor will confirm all relevant information required as part of their data collection. The following are required items you can prepare in advance of the evaluation:
- Your municipal property tax roll number to confirm ownership of the home;
- If appropriate, all paid invoices and receipts for goods and services related to your energy efficiency upgrades. These would be necessary if you are participating in a rebate or incentive program that includes a post-retrofit sevaluation and requires evidence of the upgrades you’ve undertaken.
Prepare your home for the home evaluation
For an energy advisor to do an EnerGuide evaluation, your home must meet the following conditions:
- Access – You must provide a clear path to all attic spaces, crawl spaces, mechanical equipment and other hard-to-reach areas. If you’re not sure what the energy advisor will need to access, contact your service organization.
- Heating – At the time of the evaluation, your home must have, at minimum, a space heating system in place that can keep the interior living space at 22 degrees Celsius.
- Windows and doors – All windows and doors must be in place. (A maximum of one window or door may be missing as long as it is temporarily covered and air-sealed.) Broken window panes must be air-sealed with materials such as taped polyethylene for during the blower door test. Close all windows and doors properly to ensure the test is accurate.
- Envelope – If any temporarily air-sealed location fails during the blower door test, your home cannot be evaluated. The building envelope – which includes ceilings directly below the roof and attic spaces, exterior walls, exposed floors, windows and doors – must be intact, including interior and exterior surfaces. If the exterior finish is not intact, the home cannot be evaluated. The energy advisor will note this detail. Any renovations underway within the house can affect only interior partitions and may not break the building envelope.
- Foundation – Your home must rest on its permanent foundation or be a permanently moored float home.
- Power – The blower door test equipment needs a supply of standard AC electrical power. If power is not available from a utility, you must arrange for a suitable power supply and tell the service organization about this situation.
- Water and sewer – Potable water must be supplied by the municipality or from private wells or cistern systems. Sewer service must be provided by the municipality, a private septic system or a holding tank (outhouses and bio-toilets are permissible as toilets).
- Operating kitchen – Kitchen space must include a sink, an operating stove (i.e., no portable devices) and a minimum of six square feet (0.5 square metres) of counter space or evidence of future intent to install a permanent counter (i.e., not just a kitchen table).
- Wood-burning appliances: remove all ashes from any wood-burning appliances so they’re not drawn into the house during the blower door test.
The day of your evaluation
Do not use fuel-fired space heating or water heating systems. The blower door test could affect safe operation of your gas appliances. Also do not use any wood-fired or other solid-fuel fired appliances. You can return all equipment to normal settings at the end of the test.
Your energy advisor will give you a Notice to Homeowner consent form. Take time to read it thoroughly. If you’re comfortable with the terms, sign the form to authorize the evaluation.
The energy advisor will review the evaluation’s scope, length and purpose and explain the data-collection process. The advisor will take photos of your home’s exterior, its mechanical systems, attic space and any wood-burning appliances. All data and photos are strictly protected within the guidelines of privacy legislation.
If you wish, the energy advisor will explain the tools used in the evaluation. Feel free to ask questions.
The advisor often begins with the exterior of your home and then evaluates the interior. The data collected includes
- the level of your home’s airtightness, using a blower door test
- the insulation levels of your walls, ceilings and basement
- the number, type and location of all windows and exterior doors
- the size and efficiency ratings of your space heating, space cooling and water heating equipment
- information about any ventilation equipment
- any other information relevant to your home’s energy performance
When the evaluation is over, your energy advisor will confirm all relevant information. The advisor may discuss related program information and ask you to participate in a survey.
The results of your evaluation
Learn more about the results of your EnerGuide home evaluation
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