Blower Door Tests, Energy Audits, and the Home Efficiency Rebate

Published on December 12, 2019

blower door tests, energy audits, and the home efficiency rebate

As the concern for green solutions becomes more commonplace, homeowners are searching for ways they can make a positive impact on the environment. The solution is simple: an energy efficient home. But where do you begin?

The answer: an energy audit. An energy audit is the first, and possibly the most important step in achieving an energy efficient home. An energy audit will equip you with the information you need to take the next steps to achieve a more efficient home.

What is the purpose of an energy audit?

An energy audit, or energy assessment, is the most effective starting point on the path to home energy efficiency. By having an energy audit completed on your home, you’ll be equipped with a detailed report of your home’s current level of energy efficiency, as well as a viable path forward to increase efficiency.

The purpose of an energy audit is to determine your home’s current level of energy efficiency. Moreover, an energy audit is a full and complete assessment of the inner and outer workings of your home. An energy audit will provide you with a wealth of information, including a blower door test, an EnerGuide label, and a complete list of recommended upgrades.

energy audits, blower door tests, and the home efficiency rebate

Blower Door Test

During an energy audit, your Registered Energy Advisor will conduct a blower door test on your home. A blower door test is the measurement of how much air flows through your home. In other words, the blower door test will measure how airtight your home is.

During a blower door test, your Registered Energy Advisor will place a red vinyl covering over an adjustable frame within an entrance doorway. Inside this covering fits a fan, which is used to pull air from the inside of your home to the outside. The exhausting air will force exterior air back in through any leaks, cracks, or gaps in your home. Your Registered Energy Advisor will take measurements from the pressure gauge while the fan is running, which will produce numbers that measure your home’s airtightness.

EnerGuide Label

After your energy audit is complete and your Energy Advisor has modeled your home in the official Natural Resources Canada software, you’ll be provided with an EnerGuide label. An EnerGuide label is an official mark from the Government of Canada that clearly states how much energy your home uses. You may have seen similar labels on items such as lightbulbs or appliances.

An EnerGuide label clearly outlines where your home “stands” in terms of energy efficiency, and even compares it to the energy standards of a newly built home. Further, on the label you’ll find exactly where your home uses most of its energy, all broken down by percentages.

Essentially, the lower the number on the scale, the more efficient your home is.

Recommended Upgrades

Along with the EnerGuide label, you’ll receive a list of recommended upgrades specific to your home. The Renovation Upgrade Report, or RUR, shows a breakdown of energy usage, a list of upgrades and your energy saving results, as well as comments customized to your home directly from your Energy Advisor.

How does a blower door test fit into an energy audit?

A blower door test is a small but mighty component to a whole home energy audit. An energy audit will examine all of the elements that calculate energy efficiency, such as the windows/doors, the furnace, and the building envelope, to name a few.

Simply put, the blower door test is essential to the calculation of your home’s overall energy use. The numbers calibrated during the test are used to generate a number in Air Changes Per Hour, or ACH. The number of air changes per hour is how many times the inside, conditioned air is exchanged with unconditioned air. The lower the ACH, the more airtight your home is.

What other instruments are used?

Depending on your concerns, an Energy Advisor has a number of tools they can use to assess your home. During a blower door test, your Energy Advisor may use a vapour pencil or incense to locate the drafty areas of your home. As the blower door test is running, the inside air is drawn out and forced back in through leaks or cracks. The vapour or incense will move around from the air movement, making it easy to locate the leaky areas of the home.

If your home requires further investigation, your Energy Advisor may be able to use thermography to locate hot/cold spots throughout the home. An infrared camera is an easy, non-invasive way to locate and detect heat loss or water damage.

How will blower door tests and energy audits help me?

Whether you have concerns about your home’s energy performance, you want to reduce your heating and cooling bills, or you want a more comfortable home, an energy audit will provide you with the necessary information to help you get your home on the path to energy efficiency.

If you are planning on renovating your home, a blower door test and an energy audit will certainly help financially. There are rebates available in Ontario for energy efficient upgrades to your home! The rebate program is called the Home Efficiency Rebate, and it’s run by Enbridge Gas Inc. Not only will you receive rebates, but you’ll find that your home is more affordable when it comes to your heating and cooling bills.

How can an energy audit get me the Home Efficiency Rebate?

The Home Efficiency Rebate is a rebate program designed to help homeowners make energy efficient upgrades to their home! The first step in order to qualify for the Home Efficiency Rebate is to have an energy audit completed on your home. After the energy audit, you’ll be provided with a list of recommended upgrades from your Registered Energy Advisor. You can then go ahead and complete at least 2 of the energy upgrades!

Lastly, you must have a final energy audit completed in order to qualify for the Home Efficiency Rebate. The final energy audit will provide you with an EnerGuide label that shows you how much your home has improved, and the new energy rating of your updated home!

If you’d like to learn if you qualify for the Home Efficiency Rebate, contact Barrier Sciences Group today! BSG offers a free over-the-phone consultation to determine eligibility for the program. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our office staff members on the live chat on the BSG website.

If you are interested in scheduling an energy audit or a blower door test, contact BSG today by calling the office at 1-866-333-3920, or filling out a contact form on the BSG website

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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