Energy efficiency measures
Energy efficiency renovations include measures such as adding insulation, caulking and weatherstripping, improving or replacing windows and doors, and upgrading the mechanical systems.
It is important to understand that a house operates as a system. Besides occupant activities and the external environment (e.g. temperature, wind, rain, air quality and noise) the elements of a house such as insulation levels, airtightness, window and door types, ventilation rates, heating and cooling systems all affect each other and this combination affects the overall house performance. For example, even if you are investing in new heating and cooling equipment or new windows and doors, you cannot optimize the energy performance of your house if you are not keeping heat in during the winter and out during summer.
Insulation upgrades coupled with air sealing are among the most cost-effective home retrofits. This simple home improvement sometimes pays for itself in less than a year and continues to payback for the life of the house. This upgrade may also reduce loads on heating and cooling equipment allowing for smaller and more efficient systems.
Resources and publications
To determine the current level of insulation in your home and find out about your home’s overall energy performance, obtain an EnerGuide home evaluation as a first step to improving the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) offers a booklet called Keeping the Heat In to educate homeowners on basic principles of building science and to provide guidance on how to proceed with home retrofit projects. If you are installing insulation yourself, NRCan also offers information on health and safety considerations and the publication Planning Energy Efficiency Renovations for Your Home. You may also find some useful information in the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s technical fact sheet called Insulating your House.
If you are thinking of renovations, you can also learn more about EnerGuide and ENERGY STAR rated home appliances and equipment.
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