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10 Quick Tips for an Energy Efficient Home

Date: 16.01.15 News

It’s easy to overlook energy efficiency when building or improving your home, but considering energy efficient designs and products will not only save you money, it will make your space more comfortable, and lessen the environmental impact of your home.

A 1600 sq.ft two storey home can cost approximately $150 per month to heat in the winter and the same to cool in the summer. "Savings can translate into as much as $75 per month and over one year that can save a homeowner almost $1000 annually," says Nick Malfara, President of Design-Spec Building Group Ltd., "And it's likely to save you more in the future, given rising fuel and electricity costs

We’ve outlined 10 simple ways for you to make your home improvements more energy efficient:

  1. Select materials from sustainable sources like bamboo or other natural products.
  2. Go with the multiple paned, vinyl framed windows. Vinyl frames are more resistant to heat transfer than aluminum, and double or triple paned windows keep the heat in and the cold out.
  3. Install a programmable thermostat to automate on and off times, so your home is pumping out less heat when you’re away or sleeping.
  4. Look for low-flow fixtures and appliances. Something as simple as a low-flow toilet, shower head, or washing machine can save up to 20 litres of water in a single use!
  5. Switch from incandescent lights to fluorescent. While fluorescent lights are a higher initial investment, they last 8 to 12 times longer than incandescent bulbs!
  6. Using shading systems or extending your roof overhangs on southern exposures reduces solar gain in the summer when the sunlight is at its maximum. Installing or utilizing large windows on the northern side of your house can help you take advantage of natural light as well.
  7. Draft-proof your home. Plug gaps around windows and doors using draft blockers and weather strips. Seal and insulate your attic. You can even get an auditor to do a blower-door test to pinpoint where outside air is leaking through holes and cracks.
  8. Wrap your pipes. Making sure your hot water tank and pipes are properly insulated will reduce the amount of heating your water needs.
  9. Opt for paint that uses low or zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). Low-VOC and no-VOC paints are now widely available and sold by most major paint manufacturers.
  10. Make sure to take advantage of the tax incentives for energy-efficient home improvements that are available through the federal government!

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