Energy efficient homes has become a topic of discussion today due to the growing energy needs, consumption, and its impact on the environment and our wallets. In Canada, home energy consumption accounts for a sizeable chunk of the country’s total energy use. With many homeowners still relying on outdated and inefficient energy systems, the question remains: what can we do to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure a sustainable future? 

In this guide, we discuss some energy-efficient measures and solutions homeowners can take to contribute to a more sustainable future. 

What Measures Can Be Taken For an Energy-Efficient Home?

What Measures Can Be Taken For an Energy-Efficient Home

To achieve your goal of an energy-efficient home, you can start with these simple modifications and invest in the right upgrades, thereby reducing your carbon footprint and benefitting the environment. 

    • Upgrading Home Insulation : Improving the insulation of your home is a highly effective means of cutting energy usage and expenditures. By sufficiently insulating your space, you can maintain cooler temperatures during hot weather, and keep warmth in during cold weather, leading to less dependence on heating/cooling systems, reducing energy bills and environmental impact.
    • Switching to Energy-Efficient Appliances : Consumption of energy by old appliances account for around 20% of a typical home’s energy consumption. Replacing those old appliances with new, energy-efficient ones will save you maintenance bills and reduce energy consumption. Look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates that they meet strict energy-efficiency guidelines set by the Canadian government.
    • Installing High-Efficiency Windows : High-efficiency windows are designed to prevent air leaks and regulate indoor temperatures, reducing the energy required for heating and cooling. Consider replacing your old windows with having a low U-factor and a high R-value, which indicate greater insulation and better energy efficiency.
    • Reducing Water Consumption : Low-flow showerheads help in reducing water usage as they have a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute), while most conventional showerheads use 5 gallons per minute. Similarly, a high-efficiency toilet can reduce water waste by using less water per flush. Look for water-efficient fixtures with the Water-Sense label, which indicates that they meet strict water-efficiency guidelines as set by the Canadian government.
    • Scheduling Regular Energy Efficiency Audits : Call Energy Auditors to schedule an Energy Efficiency Audit to find out where your home stands right now. These auditors come equipped with specialised equipment and skills that can help them in assessing your home’s energy efficiency and identify areas where efficiency can be increased by suggesting some inexpensive remedies. 

How to Purchase an Energy-Efficient New Home in Canada?

How to Purchase an Energy-Efficient New Home in Canada

Planning to buy an energy-efficient home in Canada? We’ve got you covered! Read on to learn about what to look for while buying a home and how it impacts the planet.

    • Research Builders/Contractors : Look for builders who have experience in constructing energy-efficient homes and have obtained Canada energy efficiency certifications such as R-2000, EnerGuide Rating System, Energy Star, or Net Zero. 
    • R-2000 : Homes that have received the R-2000 certification are among the best you can buy. High insulation levels, clean-air features, and other measures found in new R-2000 homes contribute to environmental protection. Additionally, it features whole-house mechanical ventilation, high-efficiency windows and doors, high-efficiency heating, and high degrees of insulation in basements, walls, and ceilings.
    • EnerGuide Rating System : Home energy savings programs like EnerGuide Rating System help lower your energy use by providing a better understanding of your home’s energy performance. The EnerGuide label, which serves as an official record of your home’s energy efficiency, could also boost its resale value. The Canadian government endorses EnerGuide, and all participating builders are required to be registered with NRC.
    • Energy Star : Homes that have earned the blue ENERGY STAR certification are usually better air-sealed than a typical new home, which helps to lessen breezes and cold spots and improves the comfort of the home. Better insulation and features like energy-efficient windows also contribute not only to your home’s general comfort but also help maintain more stable temperatures.
    • Survey the Location : Pick a place that is near to your place of work, public transportation, and other amenities so that there’s minimum transit in order to reduce your carbon footprint.
    • Take Design into Account: Look for a home with an efficient floor design, sound insulation, windows, and ventilation, in addition to solar panels and a heat recovery ventilation system (HRV).
    • Set up a budget : Even though energy-efficient homes initially have a higher cost for construction than traditional homes, they benefit you by saving you energy bills in the long run.
    • Hire a Real Estate Agent : A real estate agent can help you navigate through legal and other procedures. Hiring one with knowledge and experience in purchasing new, efficient houses will save you a great deal of time. 
    • Assess the House : Physically visit the house, cross-check its energy efficiency features and certificates, and ensure that they adhere to the required standards before signing the agreement. 

How To Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

How to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

Thinking of building an energy-efficient home or redesigning the present home into a more energy efficient one? Here are the best tips to help you with that:

    • Maintain the furnace : The new high-efficiency furnaces are the most energy-efficient ones. However, older models can still be made more effective. Annual maintenance by a professional will ensure that the hard-to-reach areas are clean and in good condition. 
    • Cover the water heater : Since water is only heated when it is needed, on-demand water heaters tend to be the most economical option. To prevent heat loss from electric hot water tanks, try wrapping them in an insulating blanket.
    • Use ceiling fans : Cielings fans are excellent if you want to cool a specific room but not the whole house, especially at night. A good deal of fans have a “reverse” setting that forces hot air down into the room, which will be useful in the winter.
    • Install a clothesline : Dryers can use up to 6% of the energy consumed by a house. When it’s feasible, hang your items outside to air dry in the summer and indoors to air dry in the winter.
    • Check the chargers : Plugged-in chargers use electricity even when no device is connected. It is advisable to always unplug the electrical appliances when they’re charged or not in use, as otherwise, they tend to continue using power.

Advantages of Energy-Efficient Homes for Environment and Homeowners   

Apart from saving the environment, there are several other benefits of building an energy-efficient home.

    • Conservation of the environment : One excellent technique to lessen your carbon impact is through energy efficiency. This can be done by putting energy-saving appliances and other measures in place that are specially designed to save energy consumption. 
    • Decrease in Energy Bills : Your typical monthly expenses as a homeowner may include a significant amount of electricity bills. You can save this money anywhere between 5% to 30 % by investing in energy-efficient appliances. They are an excellent way to lower your energy expenses because they consume less energy over the length of life without cutting back on quality.
    • Maximise the value of your property : The value of energy-efficient homes on the real estate market is usually higher than the value of conventional homes with similar features. Moreover, it has been found that green certificates boost the value of private homes, and they retail for a higher price than nearby properties since energy-efficient homes carry expectations of lower energy bills and cheaper maintenance costs.
    • Improve the quality of your life : You can enhance the comfort of living and the quality of your life by optimizing your energy use. Your home will be warmer, dryer, and ventilated when you inculcate energy-efficient measures, thereby reducing the danger of illnesses and mold growth.
    • Increase your investment value : Energy-saving purchases should be considered investments rather than expenses, as they result in utility savings over time. When compared to traditional alternatives, these savings can more than makeup for the initial extra cost of energy-efficient options.

Wrapping Up

The demand for energy-efficient homes keeps growing as more people become aware of their substantial advantages, including lower energy bills, greater comfort, and a lesser ecological impact. Government programs like energy rebates, subsidies from the federal government, and tax incentives have made it possible to make energy-efficient homes available and affordable to Canadians. It is time we join hands and contribute our part and safeguard our only home, the planet Earth.

You May Also Read :

Understand Freehold Vs Leasehold Freehold Vs Leasehold
How To Buy New Construction Homes New Construction Homes
Guide To Buying Property in Canada Buying Property in Canada

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

How can homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their homes?

By caulking and weather stripping, adopting energy-efficient lighting and appliances, and air sealing, owners can increase the energy efficiency of their homes

How much can homeowners save on their energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of their homes?

Using energy-efficient practices and technologies in your home can cut your annual utility costs by 5 to 30%, or approximately $105 to $627.

What are some common energy-efficient upgrades that homeowners can make?

Energy-efficient home upgrades include Insulation, High-Efficiency HVAC Systems, LED Lighting, Smart Thermostats, Low-Flow Toilets and Showerheads.

How can homeowners determine the energy efficiency of their homes?

Homeowners can determine efficiency by conducting a Home Energy Audit, checking energy ratings through the EnerGuide rating system, and ensuring energy-efficient certifications.

How can energy efficiency be improved in rental properties?

Replacing inefficient appliances with energy-efficient ones, using LED or CFL bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs, improving the insulation, and encouraging and educating tenants to adopt energy-saving habits are a few tips to improve energy efficiency in rental properties.