There are lots of good reasons to increase the energy efficiency of your home. There are also lots of different ways that you can create a more energy efficient home in Edmonton. From small changes to larger renovations there are lots of options to meet your energy needs and your budget.
Motion Sensor Lights
Anyone with kids can benefit from this option! How many times in a day are you saying “Turn the lights off!”. Well now you have the option of getting motion sensor light switches. These switches can replace the switches in your low to medium traffic areas so if someone forgets to turn a light off as they leave say a bathroom or your back entrance, it will turn off automatically after a preset amount of time.
These are another affordable way to decrease the energy consumption of your home. With a smart thermostat you are able to program the heating for your home to match your needs. For example if every weekday your family is consistently away from the home from 7:30am-5:00pm then you can set your thermostat to a lower temperature during that time so your furnace is not constantly running all day in these cold Edmonton winters. Instead about an hour before you are home your furnace can heat your home up to the temperature you like instead of maintaining that all day.
Energy Efficient Windows and Doors
This option is not as affordable upfront as the other options but you will notice a difference in the overall heating and cooling costs once you replace older windows or doors. This is especially true in older homes since windows in an older home were generally just single pane windows. The standard is now a double pane with some people choosing a triple pane window. When searching for a new front door, consider a door with a solid polyurethane foam core. Polyurethane foam core is among the most energy-efficient door materials available today. Undertaking the replacement of all the exterior windows and doors can be done in a day or two depending on how many windows you have. If the cost is too much all at once you can also spread it out to replace the front of the house one year, then the back of the house the next.
In the evening if someone shines a light at your front door you will be able to see all the little spots where your current weather striping is not fully sealing your door. If light can come in, so can either cold air, or hot air. If the cost of a new door is too much for you, consider adding a new weather stop to go at the base of your door. This is a very affordable trick to help make your home more energy efficient.
Just because you have a brand new home, does not mean the insulation that you have is as efficient as it could be. The r-value of your insulation can decrease over time so older homes may require more energy to heat or cool. By adding insulation to your attic, and around exposed HVAC ducts in your basement and/or attic can help keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer.
Now this is the most expensive option for increasing your homes energy efficiency. Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. There are several types of solar panels that a homeowner can choose from, each with different characteristics. It is best to talk to a professional about which type of solar panel is best for the climate that you live in since some do not do well in cold temperatures….so Edmonton.
It is also important to consider your home’s structure . Solar panels can be quite heavy, so your roof might not be able to bear the weight of the panels. There is an option of installing them directly on the ground if you do not have the space. Solar panels can take 7-20 years to recuperate the initial cost of installing, but once installed they not only save you money on your monthly electricity bill, they can add value to your home.
Energy Efficient Home Appliances
It can be costly to replace all of your appliances at once. But when you do choose appliances look for appliances with the energy star logo. This logo is representative of that appliance being certified energy efficient. When replacing your appliances in stages focus on high energy consumption appliances first. Your fridge is a good place to start as that is the largest energy consumer for most homes.
The City of Edmonton offers a Home Energy Retrofit Accelerator (HERA) program. This program can potentially offer you rebates if you have made energy efficient changes to your home. You need to enroll in this program BEFORE you make any changes to your home as they do an initial evaluation to tell you areas to potentially improve your energy efficiency. The City of Edmonton also has a separate program for solar panels. You can potentially receive $0.40/watt towards the cost of the system. According to the cities website this can account for up to 15% of the cost of going solar.