The Secret to Increasing your Home Energy Efficiency

Published on October 03, 2019

Energy Efficiency

The term ‘Energy Efficiency’ has become commonplace in society today. People today are more likely to search for solutions to their needs that have a positive effect on the environment and the world we live in; the same is true for your home.

 

Having an energy efficient home is beneficial for a number of reasons: decreased energy bills, air quality, and overall comfort, to name a few. Having an energy efficient home also produces fewer greenhouse gases, which is good for both you and the environment.

What Is Energy Efficiency?

Energy efficiency is an objective to use less energy required to make something run. For example, an energy efficient home uses less GJ (gigajoules) per year to operate. Alternatively, an energy efficient furnace will use less energy to function than an outdated version.

 

Using less energy per year results in less greenhouse gas emissions, which is good for you and the environment around you.

What Are Examples Of Energy Efficiency?

Energy efficiency doesn’t necessarily have to mean expensive solar panels or extreme renovations. Energy efficiency can be simple measures such as caulking or weatherstripping around your windows and doors to reduce air leaks.

 

There are a number of products available that increase the energy efficiency of your home. For example, there are a number of Energy Star appliances that are designed to reduce the amount of energy consumed during use. Dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, dryers, and more are all examples of appliances that can be purchased to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

 

Another example of energy efficiency would include increasing the insulation levels of your home. By increasing the insulation values in places like the attic or the basement, you’re relieving your home of the extra heating and cooling energy (and costs) it must produce in order to keep your home comfortable.

What Is An Energy Efficient Home?

An energy efficient home is a home that uses less energy to operate.

 

It’s also a home that has a great EnerGuide rating. An EnerGuide rating is a system created by Natural Resources Canada to rate homes based off a typical newly built home. The rating is expressed in GJ/year (gigajoules per year), which is the energy performance of the home. The lower the rating, the more energy efficient the home is.

 

An energy efficient home isn’t specific to new builds, though. Older homes can easily be transformed to improve the overall performance and energy efficiency.

How Can I Make My Home More Energy Efficient?

The first step on the road to energy efficiency is to have an energy assessment completed by a Registered Energy Advisor. An energy assessment includes a blower door test, which will test your home for air leakage. During the test, the Energy Advisor will be able to point out all the areas of your home that could benefit from air sealing. Additionally, they will also provide you with a list of energy efficient upgrades that your home could benefit from.

 

The list of recommended upgrades provided to you by your Registered Energy Advisor is a great starting point to determine which energy efficient upgrades you’d like to complete. Some examples of the items your Energy Advisor may recommend include:

 

    Improving the insulation levels.

    Caulking around the windows and doors to seal air leaks.

    Installing high-performing windows and doors.

    Switching out old light bulbs for LED or Energy Star bulbs.

    Replacing equipment with high efficient models (i.e. furnace, water heater, dryer, refrigerator, etc.)

 

There are a number of benefits to increasing the energy efficiency of your home. These include reduced energy bills, improved indoor air quality, and added levels of comfort throughout every season. The most significant benefit is that most of the aforementioned upgrades have rebate incentives.

 

The Home Efficiency Rebate is a program that provides rebates for energy efficient upgrades to your home. The first qualification step is to have an energy audit, or energy assessment, completed by a Registered Energy Advisor from a licensed Service Organization, such as Barrier Sciences Group. If you’d like more information about the Home Efficiency Rebate or booking, contact us.

 

Why Are New Homes More Energy Efficient?

Building codes in Ontario dictate what minimum requirements a home must meet when it is built. The document is constantly being updated to reflect the newest technology and the needs of society. Since the document focuses primarily on health, safety, and energy efficiency, newly built homes are designed to have more efficient heating/cooling systems, high-performance windows and doors, and optimal insulation values to ensure the home is energy efficient.

 

By having a pre-drywall blower door test completed on the home before the drywall is installed, you can be sure all air leaks are sealed and the home is airtight. A pre-drywall blower door test will eliminate the need for costly renovations after the drywall is already in place by ensuring all the leaks are sealed.

Are Net Zero Homes or Passive Houses More Energy Efficient?

The goal of both a net zero house and a passive house is the same - Reduce the amount of energy used while running the daily operations of the home.

 

With a passive house, you’re getting an airtight envelope, extremely high levels of insulation, high quality windows and doors, and a high efficiency heating and cooling system. A passive house also relies on ground source heat and solar heat, making this type of home much more natural than a net zero house.

 

With a net zero house, you’re getting the same high quality materials as a passive house, but the home also has solar panels that allows the home to produce as much energy as it consumes. A net zero home does have optimal levels of insulation; however it does not have as much insulation as a passive house. Therefore, a passive house would technically be considered more energy efficient.

 

Whether you’re interested in achieving a more energy efficient home, interested in more information about blower door testing, or you’re just looking to qualify for the Home Efficiency Rebate, contact us for all things energy efficiency. By calling our office, or filling out an online form, one of our Registered Energy Advisors will contact you to schedule your energy assessment. Book your energy assessment with Barrier Sciences Group today to get your home on the path to energy efficiency! 

The New Home Efficiency Rebate offers rebates up to $5,000.

There’s great news for homeowners who are planning to do residential renovations or upgrades! The new Home Efficiency Rebate offers up to $5,000 back for home energy upgrades. By doing renovations or upgrades that will improve a home’s energy efficiency, homeowners may be eligible for substantial rebates of up to $5,000 from Enbridge and Union Gas. Simply put, there are long-term payoffs with an energy efficient home.

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