Existing Homes

Call us today to discuss how you can improve your home’s energy efficiency while taking advantage of federal and provincial incentives.

EnerGuide Home Evaluations for Existing Homes

Unlock Comfort, Sustainability, and Savings with a Home Energy Evaluation. Our knowledgeable energy advisors can help you achieve multiple goals for your home with a single, comprehensive energy evaluation.


  • Save Money: Reduce your energy bills and enjoy long-term cost savings.
  • Boost Comfort & Health: Improve your home’s air quality and create a more enjoyable living environment.
  • Minimize Environmental Impact: Make your home more sustainable and reduce your home’s carbon footprint.

Trustworthy Expertise:

Our evaluations follow a standardized process developed by Natural Resources Canada, guaranteeing unbiased and comprehensive recommendations tailored to your specific home. We’ve conducted a little over 5,200 assessments to date, and our team brings a wealth of experience in building science and energy management. 

Go Beyond Savings:

  • Save Time & Money: Our advisors help you prioritize energy upgrades that fit your budget and needs, saving you valuable planning time and potentially thousands of dollars.
  • Unlock Grant Opportunities: You can qualify for the Canada Greener Homes Grant and a $40,000 interest-free loan by completing a home evaluation.
  • Maximize Rebates: Receive bonus rebates for completing more than one provincially eligible upgrade within a specific timeframe. 

Invest in your home’s future… 

Discover the Incentives Available for Improving your Home's Energy Efficiency

Consider your House as a System 

The thermal efficiency of your home is directly related to the home’s building envelope. Improving the building envelope’s energy performance will reduce the mechanical energy needed to maintain a comfortable inside temperature. The building envelope consists primarily of the main walls, the foundations, exposed floors, and ceilings. The main walls consist of the windows, doors, structural framing, insulation, and rim joists, just as the ceilings are a system of insulation, ventilation, and a watertight roof. 

These components work together as a system, where an improvement to one area can have unintended effects on another. Sometimes, these can have positive effects, but not always. 

Before starting to improve your home’s efficiency with one retrofit, it is a good idea to get advice to ensure that your investment in home energy improvements meets your expectations and that you will not be causing new issues while resolving old ones.

House as a System Cause and Effect Example

Reducing air leakage by completing air sealing or installing new windows provides more comfort to the occupants and protects the envelope from moisture damage. However, reducing air leakage also increases humidity levels inside the house since less water vapour can escape through your old windows or cracks that have been sealed. This humidity can cause condensation on windows, resulting in the potential for mould growth and damage from accumulating moisture. To reduce humidity levels, moisture and condensation a home may now need more and better mechanical ventilation. The lesson here is that a change to one component of the house can have an immediate effect on another component. Many small changes over time can also affect the balance of the system.

House as a System Considerations with Common Upgrades

Windows & Doors

Well-constructed and installed high-efficiency windows can provide year-round savings and comfort by reducing heat loss, reflecting heat back to its source. This keeps your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter while eliminating drafts through window openings.

  • House-As-A-System Considerations:
    • Reducing air leakage through new windows may require the installation of additional or better ventilation to manage humidity and moisture within the home.
    • Installing new windows in an under-insulated home may not significantly reduce energy bills or improve home comfort.

Heating & Air Conditioning

A well-installed high-efficiency heating and cooling system can reduce dollars spent on utility bills, shrink your environmental footprint, and keep fresh, clean air circulating through your home while maintaining an even, comfortable temperature.

  • House-As-A-System Considerations:
    • Installing a high-efficiency heating and cooling system in your home before addressing air leakage issues or upgrading your insulation may result in an oversized heating system that does not provide the energy savings or comfort you would expect from your investment in a new system.


Well-installed insulation keeps the heat in your home, can reduce air leakage and drafts, stops your heating or cooling system from working overtime, and can provide year-round comfort with less costly energy bills.

  • House-As-A-System Considerations:
    • Like other energy-efficiency products, insulation needs to be correctly installed to function effectively.
    • Before insulating, air sealing may need to be completed on penetrations into walls and attics to prevent moisture from damaging new insulation.
    • If the preexisting attic insulation being topped up is wet, mouldy, or contains vermiculite, it needs to be removed before new insulation can be added.
    • If you discover rats or mice (rodents) in your insulation, it is important to eliminate the problem before adding more insulation.

Mechanical Ventilation

Well-installed and properly sized high-efficiency ventilation systems provide good air circulation and controlled humidity levels, resulting in a more comfortable, cleaner, and fresher home.

  • House-As-A-System Considerations
    • An air-tight home with insufficient ventilation may have issues with indoor air quality, high levels of humidity, and inadequate air circulation for a healthy home.
    • A home with too much ventilation may be uncomfortable and costly to keep warm in the winter.

The first step to reducing drafts is identifying the air leakage areas throughout your home. Although you might feel drafts and see air leakage areas around windows and doors on the main floor, in most homes, the most significant air leaks are often found in the attic/top floor and basement/lowest floor and are often hidden. This is due to the stack effect: In a heated home, less dense warm air rises and expands, creating a higher pressure area near the top of the house. As cold air pushes into the lower portions of your home, it forces the lighter, warm air up and out through leaks at the top.

In general, the priorities for air sealing are:

  1. Large holes regardless of location (plumbing or electrical penetrations, ductwork through unconditioned spaces, large gaps under doors, masonry chimney chaseways)
  2. Smaller holes on top floor ceiling/attic (pot lights, ceiling penetrations around fixtures, attic hatch, attic knee walls, service shafts, etc.)
  3. Smaller holes on the bottom floor (hose bib penetrations, cracks on exterior and foundation walls, basement doors, electrical boxes, gas lines or oil fill pipes that go through exterior walls, etc)
  4. Smaller holes on main floors (windows, doors, top and bottom of baseboards, fireplace dampers, electrical outlets, switches)

For a more in-depth air sealing analysis of your home, you can have an EnerGuide Home Evaluation performed on your home to find any obvious or hidden drafts that need sealing. A program-qualified energy advisor will come to your home, perform a blower door fan/depressurization test and look for air leaks. The advisor will also use the depressurization test data to calculate your home's air leakage rate. The Renovation Upgrade Report provided by the energy advisor will include a prioritized list of draftproofing measures for your home.

Insulation works like a giant sleeping bag. It wraps the house in a material layer that slows the heat loss rate to the outdoors.

  • The priorities for adding insulation to your home will depend on the pre-existing insulation levels in your home.
  • If areas of your home are not insulated (for example, your main floor or basement walls), this would generally be the priority place to start.
  • There may also be under-insulated areas in your home which would benefit from adding insulation. See How do I know if I have enough insulation in my attic.

For more information on priority areas to insulate your home, visit BC Hydro, have an EnerGuide Home Evaluation with a Program Qualified Energy Advisor or speak with a professional insulation contractor. Check the Better Business Bureau for reputable contractors in your area.

To ensure optimal energy performance and comfort for your home, installing appropriately sized equipment that will heat and cool your home sufficiently is important. Remember that newly retrofitted homes may have smaller heating and cooling needs than before upgrades and renovations, particularly if you change your building envelope, such as draftproofing and upgrading insulation.

If you are in the market for a new heating system, ask your contractor to explain how the system they sell is appropriately sized for your home.

Here are some signs to indicate that your heating and cooling system may not be properly sized for your home:

  • Interior Temperatures Not Maintained: If some spaces in your home are not comfortably heated or cooled, your existing system might be too small to support your home’s heating or cooling demands. Find that comfortable temperatures are difficult to maintain. You should also check your home’s air ducting or hydronic piping system to ensure the distribution system is balanced and that your ducts or pipes are insulated, sealed and properly connected.
  • Heating or Cooling System Short Cycles: If your heating or cooling system turns on and off frequently, it may be too large for your home. Although some people may think that bigger is better, an oversized heating or cooling system will be less energy efficient and may reduce your home's overall comfort. The frequent on/off short cycles can also stress the system’s components and shorten its lifespan.

For more information, visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

When selecting windows for your home, it is important to consider how different glazing options will affect your home's energy performance and thermal comfort. A window’s ability to block or admit incoming solar energy is measured by its solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). Solar gain from windows can benefit or detriment a home’s comfort, depending on factors such as climate, window orientation, and the amount of window shade/ cover. In colder climates, high solar gain can be beneficial and reduce the heating load for your home, whereas, in a warm climate, high solar gain can cause overheating.

Overheating caused by solar gain from windows can lead to decreased comfort and increased energy demand on your cooling systems. To avoid this problem, windows facing south, west, and east, susceptible to high solar heat gain, may benefit from low-SHGC windows. Windows facing north with minimal sun exposure or other windows that experience significant shade/cover may benefit from high-SHGC windows.

Talk to your window installer to help you choose the best windows for the comfort of your home.

Call us today to see how we can help. 1-800-679-1902

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