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We have purchased a condo a couple of years ago. We had it inspected by a pre-purchase-home-inspetor company as it is the common thing done around here.

We live near Montreal in Canada, where it can get cold during the winter (-30°C), so the inspection included a thermal reading (thermal imaging) of the home to spot where heat could be lost. The inspection was done during the month of May, while the temperature outside was quite comfortable (15°C). So of course, it did not spot anything outstanding.

The following winter, we got faced with frozen pipes issues (no leakage, thank you!), and well, general "Geez, it's cold in here" while getting up in the morning.

I'm aware of a couple of places where we blatantly lose heat (stove hood, fireplace chimney, window cracks), and I feel we lose more heat from this kind of spot than a badly insulated wall.

I'm clueless about what I should Google to find a company that would help me find all of these issues. I can find a bunch of thermal imaging inspectors, but I don't feel that they will be of any help (the winter temperature is already fading way).

What are companies who specialize in that called?

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What you need is called an Energy Audit. We had one done on our home several years ago. They go through your home looking for areas lacking in energy efficiency. One of the major parts of the audit is called a Blower Door Test.

During this test they put a large fan into the door of your home and put your house under a vacuum. The result of this test - how much air the fan is able to suck into your home from leaks - determines how "tight" your home is.

Our auditor went around the home with a smoke pen to identify areas where air was coming in - around switches, electrical receptacles, doors, windows, etc. Several days later a written report was provided to us which detailed specific areas to improve, ordered from most to least cost effective.

The Canadian Natural Resources website has more information about these types of programs.

  • Thanks for the tips, and the link! Unfortunately, for the whole province of Québec, the site refers to the Québec ministry of the same thing. And they don't provide a list for that kind of contractors; and the programs don't apply to my situation because I live in a condo. I'll try and search for that kind of contractors by myself, but now I have a better idea of what to look for! – Alexandre Vaillancourt Mar 10 '16 at 21:41
  • Bummer! The home we had audited was also a condo. Is your setup a multi-level building, or side-by-side units? Ours was side-by-side, with each unit separated by one large party wall. You may have already seen this which mentions that multi-story units up to a certain height are in fact covered. – ksguy Mar 10 '16 at 22:07
  • Ah, maybe we would fit in the "Multiple-unit residential buildings with 4 to 20 units." category. We have 5 units in our building, but I thought it was for owners of rental apartments. I'll contact the service again and ask about it. Thanks for the tip! – Alexandre Vaillancourt Mar 10 '16 at 22:11

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