In Canada, winter is synonymous with snowy landscapes, cold-weather sports… And soaring electricity bills. What if you could make changes to your house, or plan the construction of your next home to reduce the amount of energy you consume? From little fixes to major work, here’s how you can make your house more eco-friendly, increase your comfort level and save on heating and lighting.
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Adopt eco-friendly habits
“If you want to reduce your energy bill, your priorities should be ensuring that the house is well insulated and replacing energy-sucking appliances,” explains Martin Lambert, Founding President of Ecosolaris. “It always costs less to invest in conserving energy rather than producing it.” Guilty parties include incandescent light bulbs, which could be replaced by LED lighting, and old appliances that you’d be better to replace with Energy Star-certified appliances. Products that carry this certification are required to meet strict technical specifications related to energy efficiency and are tested extensively before being certified.
“Control systems can also be a good way to save,” adds Brian Wilkinson, President of Energie Matrix Inc. “A smart thermostat that can be controlled remotely could save you up to 20% of your electricity bill.”[……]
We are expecting a typical Québec winter this year. That means cold weather, snow storms, and humidity. Should you reconsider your home’s insulation? If so, this is the perfect occasion to take your first Eco-friendly step. Plus, you will save on heating costs.
Good insulation means improved comfort, protection against outside noise and energy efficiency; hence, the importance of having an adequate insulation system.
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First off, here is some basic knowledge. Since hot air tends to rise to make room for the cold air that is flowing down, the roof’s insulation is a top priority. Do not overlook the insulation of the piping system, even if it seems trivial. And remember, properly installed insulation means zero heat loss; therefore, no seams nor openings.
According to many experts, ecological insulation materials are more energy efficient than mineral wool insulators. You can expect less condensation because the ecological insulator is more breathable. In addition, they are less irritating to the skin during the installation. Ecological insulators are not as energy intensive to make as mineral wool, with a few exceptions.[……]
This article is intended for two types of buyers. Those who favour the resale value of the property they want to buy and those who wish to go green and buy a sustainable and ecological home, usually Gen Y first-time buyers (Millenials).
Who would have thought that we would see the words “ecological” and “profitable” in the same sentence someday? Within the next 20 years, sustainable and ecological homes will see their value increase. They have a good resale potential.
Ecological homes have many characteristics. First off, its size is equivalent to the household’s needs, it contains healthy and sustainable materials, its energy consumption (heating and cooling) is considerably reduced and its materials have a high recycling potential.
According to Écohabitation, metal roofs, made of painted or galvanized steel, have a life expectancy of more than 50 years. They require no maintenance and are 100% recyclable. Wood, composite wood, and EPDM roofs are almost as durable. Other materials are also recommended, but stay away from asphalt shingles![……]
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Are we the only ones to have suffered from the cold and humidity of the last few months? The only ones to dream of more clement weather?
Even with electronic thermostats in the house, we would get a chill when the sun set. A colleague spoke to us about radiant heating, but with electricity rather than heating oil. You remember those iron radiators that we used to see in our grandparents homes. The ones that they used to say “weighed a ton.”[……]
A lot of people think that they will reduce heating costs and be more comfortable by sealing their windows with plastic for the winter. They don’t open their windows until spring. Is that the right solution?[……]