Energy Audits During Home Inspections for Realtors

Published on February 06, 2020

energy audits during home inspections for realtors

Energy audits aren’t new, but their benefits continue to emerge in popularity in today’s world. Energy efficiency is becoming a major concern for society, and it’s no exception when it comes to purchasing a home. According to a recent survey: “energy efficiency has become a top decision-making factor when purchasing a home. In fact, they say that efficiency has become as important as location when making home buying decisions.”

What is an Energy Audit? 

An energy audit is a complete inspection of a home for all things related to its level of energy efficiency, including how the home as a system is currently functioning. This includes items such as inspecting the furnace, attic insulation, windows and doors, and also includes a blower door test to check for air leakage. 

 

There are a number of added takeaways that an energy audit provides homeowners with. With an energy audit, you’ll be provided with an EnerGuide label for your home. An EnerGuide label explains just how energy efficient your home is by providing an EnerGuide rating of the home. An EnerGuide rating is a classification provided by Natural Resources Canada that designates your homes’ performance rating in terms of energy. The EnerGuide rating may look familiar, as similar labels are placed on items like furnaces, appliances and vehicles. 

 

Additionally, the homeowner will be provided with a complete report of the home. This includes where the home uses the most energy, and which improvements can be made (including how much each renovation would impact the overall efficiency if you were to complete the upgrades). 

Energy Audits Include Blower Door Tests

Though different than a home inspection, an energy audit is an extensive inspection of a home to determine its current level of energy efficiency. One very important factor to a home energy audit that a home inspection does not include is a blower door test

 

A blower door test is a diagnostic tool used by a Registered Energy Advisor to determine how much air leakage a home has. How much air leakage a home currently has is an extremely important piece of information that pertains to its ability to keep temperatures consistent throughout the entire home. Further, a drafty or leaky home won’t be as comfortable as a home with less air leaks. Lastly, a home that is airtight is a home that is affordable to heat and cool regardless of the outside conditions. 

What’s the Difference Between an Energy Audit and a Home Inspection? 

An energy audit and a home inspection do have major differences, despite both being thorough inspections. An energy audit essentially looks at a home as a system, and tests how efficient (or inefficient) it is in terms of energy efficiency. A home inspection will take a more in-depth approach to assessing the condition of a house, commonly required for the sale or purchase of a home.

 

While an energy audit is not a home inspection, an energy audit does inspect a number of the same items (and a number of other important factors, as well). For example, a home inspection will involve a visual inspection of the complete inside and outside of the home. More specifically, a home inspector would look at the outdoor items like the eaves, siding, windows/doors, trim, roof, gutters, etc. For an energy audit, the Registered Energy Advisor also must make notes of the inside and outside of the home, but in terms of the outside, are more specifically looking at the number of windows/doors, and the measurements of the home.

difference between an energy audit and home inspection

Though a home inspection will tell you a lot regarding the condition of the home, an energy audit includes special diagnostic equipment that can provide even more information. The energy audit will help pinpoint any comfort, building envelope, or moisture concerns. Some Energy Advisors also include thermal imaging in their testing to help gain further perspective into a client’s home. 

 

Barrier Sciences Group does have a number of Registered Energy Advisors that are also Certified Home Inspectors. Having Energy Advisors that are also home inspectors means you’re going to have an extremely knowledgeable inspector, whether you’re having a home inspection or an energy audit completed (or both!). 

Energy Audits and Home Inspections are the Perfect Pair

A home inspection is an in-depth look at the condition of a home. An energy audit is an assessment of the energy efficiency of a home. Both work perfectly together to help a home seller/buyer make informed decisions. 

 

When you pair an energy audit with a home inspection, both assessments can help locate potential issues that the other might not have found. For example, if a blower door test detects a major air leak, the home is losing significant energy in that spot. This may point to other potential issues such as a lack of insulation. A home inspection and an energy audit can work harmoniously with one another to help homeowners make the most informed decisions. 

 

By having both an energy audit and a home inspection completed, homeowners, sellers, and buyers are better equipped with more information to make knowledgeable decisions. Further, an energy audit and a home inspection offer solutions to energy-related concerns that can be cost-effective. And lastly, an energy audit adds value to the resale of the home, including offering a more comfortable, healthier living environment. 

 

Some BSG Registered Energy Advisors that are also Certified Home Inspectors may offer an energy audit as an add-on to a home inspection. If you’re interested in speaking to one of our advisors, contact our office at 1-866-333-3920 today. Alternatively, you can fill out a form on the BSG website and someone will contact you shortly. 

 

The New Home Efficiency Rebate offers rebates up to $5,000.

There’s great news for homeowners who are planning to do residential renovations or upgrades! The new Home Efficiency Rebate offers up to $5,000 back for home energy upgrades. By doing renovations or upgrades that will improve a home’s energy efficiency, homeowners may be eligible for substantial rebates of up to $5,000 from Enbridge and Union Gas. Simply put, there are long-term payoffs with an energy efficient home.

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