Home Renovations are Made Easy with a Blower Door Test

Published on May 15, 2019

Home Renovation Energy Assessments

Whether you are planning renovations in the future, or are currently underway with one now, an energy audit (aka an energy assessment) can ensure that there are no problems or issues that should be addressed before your renovations have been completed. This includes issues such as: air leakage, insufficient insulation, humidity/condensation build up, and even health and safety concerns, such as the improper ventilation of toxic gases.

A major part of an energy audit is a blower door test, which is capable of detecting even the smallest leak in a home’s building envelope. The test is conducted by temporarily sealing a large fan in the front doorway of a home, which blows interior air out, and creates a negative pressure within the interior. This causes all of the air inside the entirety of the home to be forced out, while also drawing in new air through any unsealed cracks or problem locations.

The negative pressure that a blower door test creates is strong enough that you are able to feel most air leaks with just your hand, but some air leaks are in hard to reach locations, such as behind drywall or in the attic. These hard to reach leaks, and all others, can be found during the walkthrough that our Registered Energy Advisors do while the blower door test is being conducted. During the walkthrough, our advisors use a number of different tools, technologies, and strategies to help them search for and label air leaks - such as infrared thermal imaging.

Due to the amount of air leaks in the average home in Ontario, there is the equivalent of an open window letting out all of the home’s air conditioned/heated air more than seven times or more a day - making air tightness improvements an affordable and effective way of saving money and energy.

An Energy Audit is the First Step Towards Lower Utility Bills

Although an energy assessment and an energy audit sound like different procedures, they are actually exactly the same - the only difference is that the term ‘energy assessment’ is becoming more widely used, as the term ‘energy audit’ is misleading for many homeowners. The reason for this, is that an energy audit/assessment does so more than just evaluate a home’s energy efficiency through number crunching - it also assess a home’s level of comfort, its health and safety, and it provides a detailed pathway for how these factors could be improved.

Making energy efficiency improvements in your home can provide you with a number of advantages, including: a more comfortable living environment, clean and fresh interior air, lower utility bills, and even a higher market value for when it comes time to sell. After you have had a home Energy Assessment conducted from BSG, one of our Registered Energy Advisors will present you with a few things to help you better understand your home’s energy efficiency, and how it could be most affordably and effectively improved.

One of these things is an EnerGuide Report, which includes an EnerGuide Rating: a numerical value that is assigned to represent a home’s level of energy efficiency. The EnerGuide Report provides you with a list of possible renovations or upgrades that could be done in your home to make it more energy efficient, comfortable, and have lower utility payments.

With the help of BSG’s Registered Energy Advisors, you can easily see which renovations, retrofits, or upgrades would improve your home the most, while also costing you the least. It is quite common for the average home in Ontario to see significant energy efficiency improvements simply by improving on overall airtightness and attic insulation levels. With an energy assessment (which includes a blower door test), you can be sure that every air leak within your home has been identified and flagged, allowing you and/or a professional to easily make your home more airtight.

Home Renovations and Energy Advisors Go Hand-in-Hand

During home renovations, home upgrades, or home improvements, a Registered Energy Advisor can ensure that the most cost-effective and correct work is being targeted, and that your home improvements will be completed without any problems.

We recently had a customer contact us asking if it was worth it for them to make improvements to their basement at the same time as their water damage repairs. They recently had a foundation leak happen during the spring thaw, and it caused a number of problems that required them to tear up some drywall. We told the customer that it would be the perfect time for them to make upgrades, as their walls were already exposed, making it easy for them to improve their air sealing or insulation levels.

With the drywall in their basement torn down and exposed for water damage repairs, our Registered Energy Advisors were easily able to locate and identify every point of air intrusion, making it easy for them to have them all sealed before they re-drywalled. A blower door test can provide peace of mind in these scenarios, as it lets you be certain that there will be no additional issues (such as air leakage or excess humidity) that will make you have to tear down your drywall once more.

How Energy Assessments Help Home Renovations

BSG are your Renovation Experts

For nearly 40 years, BSG has been proudly helping Ontario homeowners save money on their utility bills, by guiding them towards the most cost-effective upgrades that are possible in their home. As your renovation experts, BSG’s Registered Energy Advisors can help you maximize the return on your home improvement investments, and we can ensure your home upgrades will not have to be redone due to hidden or hard to reach problems.

After your energy assessment and blower door test, our advisors will present you with a list of every home improvement that is possible in your home, ranked by our advisors in terms of their cost-effectiveness. This means that you are able to choose the right home improvement for your needs at that time, and that you are able to use our advisors suggestions to improve your home in piecemeal, making small and affordable changes consistently over time.

Additionally, a home energy audit/assessment from BSG can help Ontario homeowners qualify for up to $5,000 of home renovation rebates through the new Home Efficiency Rebate program.

These rebates help make it more affordable for you to make home improvements in the name of energy efficiency, and our energy advisors are able to explain your rebate options, how to apply, and guide you towards the rebates that will provide you with the biggest return on investment.

We offer free phone consultations to help you get started, and our Registered Energy Advisors are happy to answer any questions you may have about your home’s energy efficiency, available rebates, or our services. Get in touch with us today, and take the first step towards a more affordable, comfortable, and environmentally friendly home.

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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