The average home built in Canada today is 66% more energy efficient then a home built in the 1970’s.
In the 1970’s there was an energy crisis that forced the construction industry to start looking at the way homes were built and to find ways to make them use less energy allowing average Canadians to afford to heat and cool their homes in the face of sky rocketing heating and cooling costs.
There have been a lot of theories that have come and gone over three decades, some of them good and some of them bad. But as time marched on so did the technology and techniques to make homes use less energy.
One of the biggest changes in construction practices was in stopping the air leakage coming into and out of the home. In the 1970’s the average home when you combined all the cracks, holes and seams together would add up to 350 square inch hole, that is just over a 29 sqft hole. A home built today would have 1/3 the size at around 115 square inches. That alone cuts down on the heat loss that the average home would lose.
The way this has been achieved has more to do with people paying more attention to the little details, in places around windows, doors, window headers, where the foundation meets the stud walls and around electrical penetrations on exterior walls.
The product that helped stop these gaps was foam. There are many different types of foam, from spray foam for the hard to get to areas, to sheets of foam that are attached on the outside of your home. Sheets of foam help stop the transfer of heat through the wood studs and help block the windchill that cools the inside of the wall cavity down faster, thus making the furnace work harder to warm up the new colder air.
People living in a home today can except to spend almost $1400.00 less on gas to heat their home then the same people living in a home that was built in the 1970’s.
A custom home built by a well qualified builder will have better ratings across the board then these lowering heating loss and heating/cooling costs to near minuscule levels.
So when you are thinking about buying an older home or building a new one, think about the money that you will save in energy consumption with a newly built home. In the long run the new home will pay you back, where the older one will just make you pay.
Village Builders Inc.
Facts from this post where found in the summer 2013 addition of Ontario Home Builder.