InterNACHI releases "How to Perform Energy Audits" FREE online 3-day course.

This is the largest course InterNACHI has developed to date.

Take InterNACHI’s free, online “How to Perform Energy Audits” course now.

Can’t wait to carve out time and take the course. Just another reason to be an Internachi member. Well done!

Nice work Nick and staff. :slight_smile:


I have worked somewhere in residential energy conservation since 1977… all 3 facets-

  1. doing- US certified energy auditor (1981), ran energy retrofit company (air sealing using blower door (1981), blown insulation, windows, etc), was inspector, certifier, researcher for our R2000 program with 2 of my clients being named Canada’s “R2000 Builder of the Year” in 1989 and 1993

  2. teaching- Building Science at local university faculty of architecture; energy efficient building at provincial trade schools with carpentry courses around the province; and private wood burning courses (WETT certified master system advisor)

  3. regulating- was brought into Nova Scotia to write and manage the province’s first set of energy efficiency regulations

In the last week I have been (1) sent an RFP from our gov to do QC inspections on completed low income gov sponsored retrofits and (2) called by an authorized energy audit service provider to partner on a bid to gov for low income audits.

To the point:

Just looked at the content for this course… IMHO, 3 days covering that much material would be a scant introduction/overview of the field. No one should expect to be able to consult/inspect with any confidence after completing it…it would be a travesty if anyone did try to work in the field without further training.

Brian writes:

Don’t look at the 3-days, look at the material it covers.

A 24-hour course, although technically 3 full days, is the equivalent of about 12 days of classroom education. There is no way to teach it in 3 days from a chalk board.

With online education, you are moving at a much faster pace and the course doesn’t bog down with introductions, bathroom breaks, coffee breaks, lunch, the trainer drifting off into some war story, or the nut in the front row who wants to tell us all about what happened to him last week. It is pure training.

Again, don’t look at the 24 hours we awarded it, look at the material it covers:

The How to Perform Energy Audits course includes:

  • 22 sections;

  • 78,000+ words;

  • 325 pictures, illustrations and diagrams;

  • 8 tables;

  • 13 quizzes;

  • 27-minute online training video;

  • 75-question final exam (drawn from a larger 122-question pool);

  • instant grading;

  • a downloadable, printable Certificate of Completion; and

  • accreditations and state approvals.

    The course covers the following categories:

  • What’s an Energy Audit?

  • Professional Home Energy Auditor

  • Energy Bills

  • Safety

  • Appliances and Electricity

  • Types of Insulation

  • Attic Knee Walls

  • Exterior Walls and Insulation

  • Basement walls and Insulationi

  • Floors and Crawlspaces

  • Ductwork

  • Air Leakage Basics

  • Stack Effect

  • Detecting Air Leaks

  • Air Barriers

  • Air Sealing

  • Air Leakage and Major Moisture Problems

  • Why Would an Inspector Recommend Controlling Air Leakage?

  • Blower Doors - Useful Tool Checking Air Leaks

  • Caulking

  • Windows

  • Condensation in Double-Paned Windows

  • Energy Performance Ratings for Windows

  • Window Gas Fills

  • Heat-Absorbing, Tinted Window Glazing or Glass

  • Insulated Window Glazing or Glass

  • Low-Emissivity Window Glazing or Glass

  • Reflective Window Glazing or Glass

  • Spectrally-Selective Window Glazing or Gass

  • Daylighting

  • Window Selection

  • Window Installation

  • Types of Window Frames

  • Exterior Doors

  • Weatherstripping

  • Principles of Heating and Cooling

  • Sizing Heating and Cooling Systems

  • Cooling Systems

  • Ventilation Systems

  • Natural Ventilation

  • Ceiling Fans and Other Circulating Fans

  • Cooling Using a Whole House Fan

  • Evaporative Coolers

  • Air Conditioning

  • Heating Systems

  • Furnaces and Boilers

  • Electric Resistance Heating

  • Active Solar Heating

  • Radiant Heating

  • Heat Pump Systems

  • Geothermal Heat Pumps

  • Landscape Shading

  • Landscape Windbreaks

  • What Factors Affect the House?

  • Basic Energy Principles

  • How Moisture Moves

  • Relative Humidity

  • Vapor Barriers

  • Sun and Heat Movement

  • How a Blower Door Works

  • Temperature and Humidity

  • Blower Door for Depressurization Testing

  • Finding Air Leaks

  • Energy Inspections with Infrared Cameras

  • Thermography

  • Qualitative of Quantitative?

  • Interpretation of Infrared Pictures

  • Homeowner Checklist to Save Energy

  • Commercial Office Checklist

  • Terminology Related to Energy Audits

  • 27-Minute Online Video Demonstrating an Inspection with an Infrared Camera

I couldn’t agree more.

I’m not sure I agree with the Brian. The topic list looks pretty complete to me. There are energy auditors out there right now doing more with less education.

Remember it’s a home energy audit, not a thesis.



All I know is, is that I passed and got a neat-o certificate.

Overall it has good content. More to the point than the Green Building but they were both good.



I just took the course and passed the exam. I just kinda skimmed through most of it and then took the final exam. All in all, this is a pretty good course.

However, I can’t stress enough the importance of field experience. The BPI field exam was the hardest test I have taken in this industry.

Everyone interested in getting into the Energy field should take whatever course there is offered, especially if it’s FREE.

Great course…I recommend that all members complete the course! It will only make you a better Inspector, even if you don’t get into energy inspections.

Thanks for developing this :slight_smile:


Kevin, did the field experience and exam include thermal imaging?

Without an IR camera, an energy auditor is half blind… IMHO.

A lot of half blind people do amazing things.

Most residential energy audit programs in North America have been doing a pretty good job for years without using IR. It does **enhance **an auditor’s visual evaluation of the house but it does not:

  1. Do a furnace efficiency test needed for most programs

  2. Locate all air leakage sites (especially when temp differential is not favourable) nor quantify air leakage so it can be used in the audit program

  3. easily quantify insulation values for use in the program

  4. tell you what energy retrofits should be cost effective


1984-5 (ran a multifaceted retrofit/roofing/siding company in a small town and a home inspection company out of a city of 80,000 about 35 miles away)

A rural neighbour of mine (a freelance radio journalist) called the insulation company to ask about insulation for her large farmhouse which was costing her a fortune to heat and was still full of cold drafts. I did a quick visual inspection and then sold her on a more in-depth evaluation using a blower door and infrared.

The day we went to do the evaluation, her engineer son was home for a visit from the Alberta oil patch and was quite impressed with our work. we found that the house walls were quite well insulated with blown rockwool with a few small misses. The attic had about R20-22 installed…but the house was a SIEVE- 21 air changes per hour @ 50 pascals!!! They burnt both wood and oil in hot air furnaces run in series.

We recommended (1) airsealing, airsealing, airsealing; (2) basement insulation; (3) better seasoning of firewood; (4) more efficient oil burner upgrade or new oil furnace; (5) after all the previous was complete, add R20 blown cellulose to the attic but don’t worry about the small misses in the walls.

Our evaluation didn’t result in any work which was puzzling. Later found out she hired a friendly competitor that blew only fiberglass. She had them add R20 to the attic and blow the small wall misses from the first insulation job.

About 1+1/2 years went by when she called our HI company in the city saying she heard we were the best around at anaylzing/inspecting houses. I let her talk on awhile not yet identifying myself to her. She said she had the house re-insulated recently but it made very little difference over the first winter after.

I then asked her if she had the house evaluated before the re-insulation to which she said “yes”. I then told her we’d still be making the same recommendations as it was myself that was on the property that day to which she blew up!!! Never did get anymore work other than the evaluation from her.

Did hear a spot she did about insulation on the radio though. (she of all people!!!) She basically ran cellulose down as an insulation as she had talked to a municipal inspection official that didn’t like it. OH! OH! OH! so many uniformed people around!!!

We stopped blowing fiberglass and went all cellulose in 1983 after the Canadian federal gov brought an “environmental” labelling program and gave its first approval to…TA…DA!!!..Cellulose insulation!!!

You’ve been in the energy conservation field for a few years now. With the title of this thread “How to Perform Energy Audits” in mind, do you think that everyone taking this course could go out and do an accurate audit and economic evaluation of all retrofit options including fuel switching?

No, there is no requirement to use Thermal Imaging during the BPI field exam.

Energy Auditors have been conducting full scale Home Energy Performance Audits for many years without the aid of an Infrared Camera. All you need is the the back of your hand and a smoke pen.

However, the camera sure does make it a lot easier :slight_smile:



You really need hands on training with the diagnostic equipment.


I sure get a lot of energy auditors in trouble. My IR camera sees things
that certified auditors miss all the time. Just because they have been
it for years, they are still half blind.

Brian write:

Kevin writes:

You can do your calculations with a slide rule instead of a calculator too… I guess. It’s 2010 though.

I think the point is that it’s not “needed.” I agree that it make it a lot easier :slight_smile:


I find it difficult to fathom an energy audit without the currently available equipment, which makes it more accurate and time efficient.

The building performance testing I have been recently conducting has re-confirmed this assessment. You can look at stuff and see if it is there, but you can not see how it actually performs.

  1. No, we can not do a combustion test, but then we all don’t have gas or oil furnaces/boilers. You can not determine the performance of a Heat Pump Reversing Valve with a combustion test either.

  2. IR with Blower door works at almost any Delta T. It may not quantify, but you can see which leaks are greater in comparison to others and determine which ones are most accessible and more cost effective to perform first.

  3. IR can easily quantify insulation values if you take the time to learn the process. It is more accurate than adding up “expected” R-Values to get a U-Value of a component because it evaluates “performance” not expected results.

  4. If you can see where the leaks/insulation losses are, you can figure which ones can be repaired most cost effectively and much more effectively than a CFM/ACH Blower Door result. You can determine the effective hole size in respect to leakage with a blower door test, but IR will show it to you. Basically, bigger anomalies are more important ones.

I am from the old school also, and am not condoning the use of technology as a “short-cut”! However, I will not take the stance that you can not improve on the ways of our elders with new technology.

I am presently re-learning this entire process to fix the things old age has taken from me, and to learn current audit practices on new types of building construction. I embrace the new technologies which will make this entire process more efficient and accurate.