This Old Home: Home Insulation and Home Repair

Published on March 26, 2019

This Old Home Insulation and Home Repair

If your home was built more than 41 years ago, it is likely that it could be retrofitted towards higher energy efficiency and comfort through simple and affordable changes, such as home insulation improvements and air sealing. If your home has an attic, it is even more likely that it could be made significantly more comfortable and energy efficient through home insulation upgrades, as NAIMA Canada has said that ceilings with attics are responsible for 49 percent of the total retrofit potential in Canada.

An Old Home Needs Extra Care When Renovating

While house hunting, it is not uncommon to come across a beautiful old home and quickly fall in love with it; but before the honeymoon period can start, a few important things should be taken care of first. An old home is more susceptible to problems such as air leaks, missing or ineffective home insulation, and improper ventilation. These problems, among many others, are able to transform the old home you have just fallen in love with into a home that will continually leave you feeling drafts and paying large utility bills - unless you notice these issues before you move in or are prepared to make the necessary improvements.

Before you make a commitment or put an offer down on an old home, it is worth considering the extra risks threatening home comfort levels and energy efficiency. If you decide that the risks are worth it, and that you want the home you are looking at to become your home, then it is worth considering having a Registered Energy Advisor conduct a Home Energy Assessment, as it determines which problems are affecting the home most significantly, and which solutions would be the most cost-effective to consider.

This assessment is sometimes done before the time of sale by the previous homeowners, as a way of showing how energy efficient their home already is, and how easily it could be improved. Part of the benefit of having a Home Energy Assessment done in an old home, is that the Registered Energy Advisor can show you which retrofits or modifications are the least invasive, meaning you can improve your home’s utility cost without having to change any of the rustic aesthetic or heritage structure.

As your renovation experts, Barrier Sciences Group has a number of experienced Registered Energy Advisors who will be just as excited to step foot into your old home as you were for the first time. Our advisors are not only equipped with the tools and training they need, but also with a passion for making homes more comfortable and affordable, which is immediately noticeable during your first conversation with one of them.

A Home Energy Assessment Can Help Make a Home Repair Easy

A survey conducted by our friends at Great Northern Insulation asked homeowners and their past customers for feedback, including whether or not they thought that their old home was built to code. Over 56 percent responded saying that they believe that their home would not meet code or were not sure if it would or not.

Great Northern Insulation Survey

A Home Energy Assessment is not only useful in determining the most effective and affordable retrofits, but it also provides you with a complete look at your home’s energy efficiency, and how it compares to a home that was built to code in the past few years. The advisor who conducts the assessment can list every possible retrofit or home repair in terms of their cost-effectiveness, and they can even show you your expected energy and financial savings per each individual suggestion.  

This allows you to make an informed decision regarding your home’s utility cost and comfort, and give you the certainty that you are making the right decision for your family’s needs, your wallet and your lifestyle. As home repairs are often more sensitive in an old home, our Registered Energy Advisors take this into consideration when drawing up their assessment, ensuring that any home repairs or upgrades are done in the least invasive method possible.

Home Insulation Improvements are Effective and Affordable

Old homes with attics are among the homes that are the most cost-effective to upgrade, as attic insulation improvements are simple, affordable, and extremely effective at improving energy efficiency at comfort. In any home or building, hot air rises, but in a home that has air leaks around the foundation and poor attic insulation, something called the stack effect can occur.

During the summer, the stack effect happens due to cold exterior air being drawn in from the base, and then replacing the climate controlled air by forcing it out of the uninsulated and leaky attic. Homes that are significantly affected by the stack effect are not only wasting energy in heating and cooling, but they are also noticeably more drafty and less comfortable to live in than a well sealed home.

With a Home Energy Assessment and/or Airtightness Test, you can be made aware of how much climate controlled air is being dumped to the outdoors due to the stack effect, and how much of an improvement you would see by carrying out home insulation upgrades and airtightness improvements.

You can qualify for a home renovation rebate of up to $5000 with the help of a home energy assessment. They are currently offered to customers of both Union Gas and Enbridge, making it even easier for you to see a return on your home improvement investments. Our advisors are more than happy to help you decide which rebates would be the most effective for you to aim towards, and to ensure that you will be making the necessary changes in order for your home to qualify.

Contact BSG today to discuss your options for non-invasive home renovations and future goals with your home  - we offer free phone consultations. 

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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