Frequently Asked Questions
Home Energy Audits & Rebates
Your registered energy advisor will walk you through all the rebates your home is eligible for, but here are the energy upgrade categories
- Replacing your furnace or boiler
- Basement insulation
- Exterior wall insulation
- Attic insulation
- Air sealing
- Replacing windows, doors or skylights
- Replacing water heater
Analysis of data collected and preparation of your report takes about one week. You will receive your Home Energy Audit report within 10 business days after the inspection. You will receive your report by email as a color Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file, however a color printed hard copy will be mailed if you have no email.
Yes, some local governments and utilities offer special programs, incentives and rebates. Our Advisor is fully up to date on all incentives in your area.
Preparing for an audit is straightforward and easy. You’ll need to
- Clean the ashes from your wood-burning fireplace – we don’t want the ashes to blow around when the blower door test is going on.
- Provide access to the attic hatch – we need to gain access to the attic so we can take pictures and assess the attic construction and insulation level.
Please refer to our Preparing for An Energy Audit Post
A blower door is a special fan mounted with a frame and fabric panel into a standard (non-sliding) exterior doorway of your home. This does not require that the door be removed.
Controlled operation of the fan can create positive or negative pressure in the house. This slight pressure difference between the inside of the house and the outdoors allows easier detection of any leakage into or out of the house and the pressure difference exaggerates air leaks for easier detection and to help locate hidden air pathways through the structure. It also helps quantify the overall tightness of your home and may be used in conjunction with other diagnostic equipment.
If you have an open fireplace, please remove any loose ashes before the inspection so they are not disturbed by air from the chimney during operation of the blower door.
Contrary to what you may have heard, the blower door is not used to simulate weather conditions at your home, it is just a diagnostic tool for professionals trained in interpreting the results.
A Home Energy Audit will show you what actions you can take to ensure you are maximizing your opportunities to increase comfort, save energy and save money. These recommendations will range from simple things you can do yourself, to strategically installing or replacing equipment, to more extensive home improvements that address major home performance issues. Most of the actions we recommend will result in real savings, many will improve the comfort, safety and durability of your home. But remember, without taking action a Home Energy Audit is just information!
Incentives for high-efficiency products and systems are often available from manufacturers, utilities and government programs. These incentives tend to vary over time or apply only for specific periods. We will help guide you to incentives that we are aware of at the time of your assessment.
The goal of tightening up a house is to balance natural air exchange with controlled ventilation to ensure an optimal level of efficiency and indoor air quality.
Most older homes can benefit from significant air sealing before approaching the point where tightness becomes a concern. Many newer homes have specific air leakage problems that can be strategically targeted. In either case, the most important first step before embarking on any air sealing improvements is to check whether combustion equipment in the home (such as furnaces and water heaters) are operating and venting safely, without generating and releasing carbon monoxide into the home.
The blower door test will determine just how tight your home is at the time of inspection, and we will look at your current ventilation systems to determine your best options. Finally, these tests will be repeated after the completion of any significant energy upgrades in your home.
Only a comprehensive energy assessment can determine if replacing windows will significantly impact your energy usage, or whether it should be your first priority. We have often found that the expense of just replacing windows does not provide the increase in comfort or energy savings that homeowners expect. There are typically other less expensive or higher impact ways to accomplish this goal. A Home Energy Audit will help you determine where on your action list replacing windows should fall.
A Home Energy Audit will identify actions you can take to make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable. You may be able to make some of these changes yourself. Others may require the assistance of a professional contractor. It is up to you do determine which improvements you implement, but it’s important to remember that you will only approach the total energy savings predicted by your Home Energy Audit report if improvements made are part of a “whole house” strategy.