Stay Warm This Winter Even if Your Condo Loses Its Heat Quickly

Published on October 22, 2018

Stay Warm in Your Condo this Winter


Many people across Canada live in or rent out an apartment within a Multi Unit Residential Building (MURB). Just as the habits and desired comfort level of each tenant vary, so too does the ability of a building to maintain heat differ from one unit to the next. Some of these building variations include: the size of the unit and building, how old the windows and roof are, who built the house and when, and the overall condition of the building. Having drafty windows are among the more obvious problems that may prevent your ability to stay warm in the winter, although there may be a collection of other issues that are all contributing to the loss of heat, energy, and therefore money in your MURB.

Is There a Way to See How Leaky Your Unit or Building Is?

Recently, an environmental economist, engineer, and associate professor at Cornell University, Dr. Howard Chong, has devised a simple home test that residents can employ to see if their home is wasting heat and energy. The test involves setting the heat at a level where the indoor temperature is comfortable during the winter or fall, and leaving the thermostat for a little while to see how long it takes for the temperature to drop. A slow crawl towards lower temperatures is desirable, as it means your home, unit, or building has proper insulation and air sealing, and is maintaining heat very well. However, if the temperature drops very quickly, it means that there is a problem with the ‘leakiness’ of the building and is costing you more money to keep comfortable than may be necessary.

Our energy advisors can provide airtightness tests on individual units in a MURB to investigate the actual source of energy loss within each unit, and locate the exact reasons why your condo loses its heat quickly. This can be done through an airtightness test. Our Registered Energy Advisors come into your unit or building to fully highlight problem areas of energy loss, providing you with an informed plan of suggestions for you to consider, in regards to how you can effectively combat energy loss and overall leakiness.

What Action Can You Take to Prevent Energy Leaks and Stay Warm this Winter?

If your unit is extremely drafty, and after conducting Dr. Chong’s home ‘leakiness’ test, you find your home quickly loses its heat, it may be time to look into something a bit more concrete than just the average door draft stopper. Even if the entire building is showing its age and is having troubles maintaining heat in the winter, individual units can be compartmentalized for energy retention and leak prevention. This means that it is possible to upgrade older MURBs one unit at a time, and that each unit can have specifically tailored changes made depending on its unique needs.

Compartmentalizing can also be a benefit if you find that your condo loses its air conditioning quickly as well. Sealing problem areas where air can escape, along with the proper installation of insulation by an experienced company such as our friends at Great Northern Insulation, can increase comfort and decrease leakiness during any season.

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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