Home Energy Assessment

Getting a Home Energy Assessment

Natural Resources Canada licenses independent home energy advisors who offer home energy assessment services across Canada.

The home energy assessment is a professional evaluation of your home's heating, hot water and ventilation systems, insulation and air leakage. Specially trained advisors carry out this evaluation. The process involves a careful asssessment of your home's energy systems and their performance. Advisors use computer software modeling and their own experience to assess performance and propose the best upgrade options for your home.

The home energy advisor will explain the results of the assessment and point out where efficiency improvements can be made cost effectively. As well, you will recevie a written report on the evaluation results.

Your home energy assessment report will highlight how your home can be improved to reduce energy costs and improve comfort. This information can be particularly valuable as you set your renovation priorities and meet with contractors.

How the Home Energy Assessment Works

Your home energy advisor will conduct a walk-through assessment of your home to gather information on all components and equipment that can affect energy efficiency. This data is then analysed using the ERS computer program developed by Natural Resources Canada. The condition of your home, your heating system, local climate conditions and energy costs are all factored into this analysis.

As part of the assesssment, the advisor also performs a blower door test which measures the amount of uncontrolled air leakage in your home. During the test, the advisor will show you the exact points in your home where significant air leaks exist so that you will know where caulking and sealing are needed.

When the assessment is completed, the advisor will explain the results and answer any questions you have. Your written home energy assessment report will suggest cost-effective improvements that will increase your home's energy efficiency, reduce energy bills and increase your home comfort. You will also receive an ERS rating label for your home that shows how its energy efficiency compares with other homes.

The ERS Computer Analysis

More than 20 years of research by Natural Resources Canada led to the development of the ERS computer program that licensed home energy advisors use to produce an accurate analysis of your home's energy efficiency. The analysis considers the many different factors that can affect your home's energy efficiency, including:

  • heating and air conditioning equipment
  • ventilation equipment
  • domestic hot water systems
  • the rate of air leakage or infiltration
  • air/vapour barriers
  • insulation levels

The software models the energy performance of the home based on standard operating conditions and determines its rating. The advisor's expertise combined with the software's modeling options help to identify the most effective way to deal with any home comfort problems while reducing your home's energy consumption and heating costs.

The ERS Blower Door Test

To perform a thorough energy efficiency assessment of your home, licensed home energy advisors use specially designed blower door test equipment to measure your home's rate of air leakage.

The blower door is a variable-speed fan mounted on an adjustable panel that can fit into any exterior door opening of your home. When the advisor turns the fan on, air is drawn through your home at a constant speed to allow outside air to flow in through unsealed openings or cracks in the house structure. Pressure sensors connected to the fan measure the rate of airflow required to keep your home at a constant pressure, allowing the advisor to measure the amount of air leakage taking place.

The Home Energy Assessment Report

Your home assessment report is an important tool for improving the energy efficiency of your home through properly planned upgrades and renovations. In the report you will find a breakdown of the amount of energy used for space heating, water heating, lighting and appliances an estimate of where energy is lost throughout your home (basement, windows, doors, main walls and ceiling, etc). This lets you see where energy upgrades would be most effective. It will also outline your home's current ERS rating and the rating you can expect if you complete all the recommended improvements

Your energy advisor will go through the report with you to explain all the recommended improvements. At the same time they will answer any questions you may have regarding the results of the assessment, the ERS rating your home achieved and any aspects of the assessment.

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