What is an energy efficient home?
An energy efficient home is just that, a home that uses energy efficiently. By paying close attention to the air sealing of the home, by providing continuous insulation throughout the home, and by designing and orientating the home to work with the sun, and not against it, will drastically reduce your energy usage at home.
There are many levels to choose from when it comes to Energy Efficiency, it’s important to remember that it’s not all or nothing. Every upgrade, big or small, will reward you with savings and/or comfort.
So, what are the benefits of reducing your energy usage at home?
1. Energy efficient homes save you money on utilities
This is the obvious one. The less energy you use, the less you have to pay. Your mortgage will come to an end, but utilities never do, unless you build an energy efficient home. The slight addition to your mortgage could be offset by reduced utility payments.
Now, you could use less energy and pay less utilities without living in an energy efficient home, but that would mean living in the cold and dark, which would not be comfortable. That brings us to our next reason.
2. Energy efficient homes are more comfortable
What is the difference between a typical home and an energy efficient home? Well, a typical home is going to lose a lot of heat during the winter and lose a lot of cool air during the summer. This means that you’re going to have temperature fluctuations in your home. Your basement will probably be cold and uncomfortable, while your second story may often get too hot.
On windy days you may feel it blowing through your walls, and you might not be looking forward to sleeping in as much as you should be because you know your neighbour is going to fire up their lawnmower or snowblower at 7 in the morning like they always do. Or perhaps everyone is trying to avoid sitting near the big window in the dining room during Christmas dinner because it’s a cold spot.
There are a variety of things that can make a home uncomfortable, and if you want a home that uses less energy, it’s by default going to be more comfortable.
That’s because the walls will be thicker and better insulated, which will keep the temperature inside of your home more consistent. It will have less drafts near windows, the ceiling, and receptacles, and the better performing windows will be nearly the same temperature as the walls, making them comfortable to sit near.
3. Energy efficient homes are better for your health
Just as it makes them more comfortable, energy efficiency will, by default, also make your home healthier to live in.
It takes a lot of attention to detail to build an energy efficient home. Each person who is working on the home needs to be working towards a common goal, which is to build a high-performing home.
When a home is more airtight, and has the proper mechanical systems in place, such as a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV), there is always going to be a cycle of fresh, filtered, air from outside while drastically reducing the chances of condensation and mould in your walls, floors, and ceilings.
Keeping your home air tight, keeping out mould and radon, and having an HRV act as the lungs of your home to effectively and efficiently keep it full of healthy, fresh air is going to do nothing but benefit you and your family.
To learn more about the nasty effects of an unhealthy home, you can read this article here.
With all of the discussion about climate change in the news and politics today, you may have associated an energy efficient home with an environmentally friendly home, and you wouldn’t be wrong.
An energy efficient home, especially those without natural gas, have significantly lower carbon footprints than typical homes. The reason we don’t mention this as one of our 3 benefits, is because it’s simply a by-product of building an energy efficient, comfortable, and healthy home.
It would be hard to build an energy efficient home that is not more environmentally friendly than a typical home, and that’s because it’s going to use less energy, and it’s going to last much longer, requiring far fewer repairs, maintenance, and replacements than a typical home.
If you have any questions about building an energy efficient home, or would like a free retrofit feasibility consultation for your already existing home, contact us.