A recent study of Canadians showed that 4 out of every 10 people want to renovate their home to increase the energy efficiency of it.
Increasing the energy efficiency is actually a lot easier than it sounds. Here are a couple of things that you can do in an older home to help lower your heating/cooling bills;
• When taking on a bathroom or kitchen renovation remove the drywall on the outer walls and add insulation. You can spray foam the walls solid or add foam on top of the studs before you install new drywall.
• Whenever you expose a ceiling check to make sure that the rim joist are insulated, if there not then add insulation to them. Simple fiberglass insulation will do.
• Add insulation to your attic, this can be either bats or blown in loose cellulose. Make sure if you add insulation that you are not blocking the air flow from the soffits. Moore vents might be required.
• Insulating the walls in your basement will go a long way to lowering heating bills and it will also give you more livable space without adding any additional square footage to your home.
• Upgrading your furnace to a high efficiency model if it is gas or switching to geo-thermal or an air to air heat pump if you live in the country.
• Change your hot water tank to a tank-less. This kind of unit only heats water when a tap is turned on instead of heating water all day long when no one is home to use it.
• Add an HRV to your home. This will cut down on how hard your furnace will have to work when bringing in air from outside.
• When replacing your appliances in your kitchen look for models that use less energy. Look for the energy star symbol.
• If you are replacing or repairing outside siding, add foam insulation to the building. This will stop the heat and cold from escaping through the studs.
• Have new windows installed that help regulate the amount of solar rays that come into the building. This can help you regulate your home from being too hot on the south side of the building and to cold on the inside. This will lower the demand on your furnace as well.
• If you are re-trimming windows take the time and address the gap around the windows with spray foam. If it is already spray foamed then add where needed.
• Caulk around all windows and doors, caulk not just the outside but the inside trim as well. This will cut down on the amount of drafts if the insulation is compromised around the window.
• Make sure doors have proper seals on them; if they leak air then you should repair the seal or replace the door with a newer one that has a magnetic seal.
Doing a lot of these things while you are renovating will not just help you lower your heating and cooling bills but in a lot of cases raise the value of your home. With new rules in Ontario about getting an energy audit every time you sell a home, it makes sense to do these things so that your rating is higher at test time, making the home more attractive to potential buyers.
Village Builders Inc.