Another New Service for Our Clients
Home Energy Assessments
Save Money, Save Energy, Help Save the World
When I got into Home Inspection, a big part of the reason was the opportunity to learn. Building science is evolving and over the years there has been a steady stream of new products and techniques available to home builders and renovators. Part of the challenge of home inspection is figuring out when these new components work with the old ones, and when they don’t. But it’s a fun challenge…. usually.
We also get to learn techniques to evaluate building components, like using an infrared camera, and emerging issues in homes, like Radon. I’ve talked about these topics in other blog posts. Learning about these topics and passing on our knowledge to clients is both enjoyable and important and I will always look for opportunities to provide our clients with new information or new services.
Probably the most important current issue in building science, or in the world for that matter, is energy efficiency. We know that the world is changing and how we live contributes to the root cause, greenhouse gases. More and more of us are looking for ways to have a positive impact by reducing our carbon footprint. And building science has been advancing in this direction. New advances in insulation, integrated building systems, and heating and air conditioning technologies have provided to reduce the energy that a home needs to operate and keep the occupants comfortable.
I’m especially exited about heat pumps. There are a variety of heat pumps available on the market today that are getting better at operating in our cold Canadian winters. These units are magic, or at least they seem like it. They extract heat from a cold environment and send it to a warmer environment. The cold environment could be the ground (or groundwater) or a lake or the outside air. The warm environment that gets warmed even more is the inside of your home. All it takes is the electricity to run the unit. But, and here’s the magic part, they are more efficient than the theoretical 100% efficiency of an electric heater! That’s right. The amount of energy used to transfer heat from the cold side to the warm side is less that the amount of energy it would take to heat with electricity directly. Usually many times less. How? Well, that’s a topic for another blog post, but think of it as an air conditioner operating in reverse. Actually, that’s exactly how a heat pump works.
There have also been advances in energy generating technologies such as solar and wind power so that homeowners can get involved with generating (or at least capturing) the energy they need to run their homes. It’s no longer crazy to talk about Net Zero homes- homes that produce as much (or more) energy than they use. There are new building programs to achieve Net Zero homes. We can actually have a conversation about how to convert all of our existing, even older homes to low or no energy (and low or no carbon footprint).
Unfortunately, many of the incentives provided by the provincial government to help homeowners transition to these new technologies have been cancelled. But I’m happy to report that there are still incentive programs through the natural gas providers to help homeowners make the change. I’m told that there may be more coming through local municipalities as a result of the recent Federal budget.
I’m also happy to report that GoldEye Home Inspection has gotten on board to help. Over the past few months I’ve been training to be registered as an Energy Advisor by Natural Resources Canada. As an Energy Advisor I will be able to perform energy assessments on homes using the EnerGuide Rating System and help homeowners find ways to reduce their energy consumption and operating costs, access rebates for energy upgrades, and lower their carbon footprints. Basically, we’ll help you save money, save energy and help save the world.
So, look for more news on that coming up, and a deeper dive into what is involved in a home energy assessment. And if you’d like to read more articles like this on other aspects of homes or Home Inspections, please check out our blog at
Steve Schroeder is President/ Inspector at GoldEye Home Inspection Ltd, a Guelph, ON based inspection company serving Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge Burlington, Hamilton and surrounding areas.