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ENERGY AUDIT

What is an Energy Audit?

 

An Audit is a comprehensive, whole-house approach to identifying the primary sources that are making your home energy usage inefficient, uncomfortable and potentially unhealthy.

 

As a certified Home Energy advisor we will perform a thorough examination of your home, assessing it's overall performance and energy efficiency. We will complete a series of tests, using a variety of diagnostic devices, to accurately measure the performance of your home. The tests will assist in revealing any concealed energy leaks or unhealthy conditions that are reducing the efficiency, comfort and safety of your home.

Following the energy audit, we will present you with a customized summary of findings and will discuss the comfort and energy deficiencies identified in your home. From the findings, we may suggest a series of improvements that will help you create a healthier, more comfortable home that is more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable.

Energy Audit Faq's

 

Building Envelope

The building envelope refers to the home’s shell and plays a huge part in determining how effective the heating system operates. The tighter the building envelope, the better job it does in keeping valuable heat in and cool outdoor air out.
Both the air-leakage rate and thermal performance of the building envelope must be examined to measure its overall effectiveness in keeping the heat in.

 

Air-leakage rate: Air leaks may be present in a variety of locations in the building envelope. Typical air-leakage areas are: around windows and doors; electrical outlets exhaust fans and vents; light fixtures in the ceiling; interior trim and baseboards; cracks in the wall finish or ceiling; fireplace dampers; floor drains; and many more.


It is easy to locate air leaks on a cool windy day through the use of an incense stick, a feather or a thin piece of plastic. However, to measure the air-leakage rate, a depressurization (or, blower-door) test must be conducted by a Government certified energy advisor. This test determines the air change rate - ACH per hour in the home; the rate of which used indoor air is replaced with fresh outdoor air.

 

Is it more cost effective to heat my home with a furnace or fireplace?

A furnace is designed to heat the home's total heating area, therefore it is the most efficient method available.  A fireplace is designed to heat smaller areas within your home, therefore when occupying an area by your fireplace, turn your furnace thermostat down to save some energy.

 

 

I have noticed on very cold days the furnace seems to run constantly. Does this mean I need a larger furnace?

No.  A properly sized furnace will operate at peak efficiencies and on a continuous basis on very cold days.

 

Why am I being asked to make my home airtight and then mechanically ventilate it?

 

Many homeowners question the logic behind tightening a house and then ventilating it.  It’s important to understand the relationship between ventilation, indoor air quality, the integrity of the building envelope and energy efficiency.

 

Controlled mechanical ventilation is the key to an energy efficient, healthy home.  When the ventilation is controlled, you will be able to more effectively regulate the humidity level in your home and control when you want fresh air brought in and stale air removed from the home.  This will save you on your heating dollars and remove any possible condensation problems occurring within the building envelope, as can happen with uncontrolled air leakage. 

 

In turn, the homeowner is able to better manage indoor air quality and enjoy a more comfortable home.  Installing mechanical ventilation is common in newer houses because they are generally built more airtight than older houses.  In addition, new construction materials can contain a high level of moisture and pollutants that are emitted into the interior living space. 

 

Do you recommend insulation blankets on water heaters?

 

No. Water heaters that are certified to the applicable CSA Standards must meet the requirements for energy efficiency; the field installation of an add-on insulation kit would be unnecessary

 

How do I determine the cost of operating an electrical appliance per month?

 

Though we pay for electrical use by kilowatt hours, the energy consumption of an electrical appliance is typically measured by watts. Determining the operating costs for an electrical appliance therefore requires converting the wattage of the appliance, to kilowatts (there are 1000 watts in 1 kilowatt). To find your monthly energy consumption for an electrical appliance, take the equipment wattage (W) and divide by one thousand, multiply by hours of use per day times days per month. This will give you an estimate of kilowatt-hours used per month.


W/1000*hrs/day*day/month=kWh/month

To find your monthly cost, take the energy consumption that applies (kWh) and multiply by your energy costs.

kWh/month*$/kWh=$/month
 

During the heating season, what is the ideal temperature to set my thermostat at during the night and when I am away?

It is recommended that settings of 20°C during the day and 17°C at night (or when nobody is at home) provide optimal comfort and efficiency.

As a rule of thumb, for every degree you consistently turn down your thermostat over an eight hour period, you will save 2 per cent (per degree) on the space-heating portion of your energy bill. A programmable thermostat will help you to regulate your daily and weekly settings and optimize your energy savings.



Is it true that if I turn down my thermostat, more energy is used to bring the temperature back up to the same level?

No, this is not the case. In fact, if you turn down your thermostat for more than a few hours you will save energy. Here’s why:

The energy “saved” during the time the temperature is dropping (ie. from 21ºC to 18ºC) offsets the “extra” energy used to bring the temperature back up (to 21ºC). Over the period where the temperature is continuously at the lowest setting (18ºC), this is considered saved energy on your heating bill.