Making your home energy efficient is not only a smart idea for your health, comfort and the environment, but it also helps your bank account. It future-proofs your home against increases in utility costs, carbon tax, electricity and water supply problems, expensive renovations and increases property value due to having advanced technology and being environmentally responsible.
Start by having Codam Building Solutions do an energy audit on your home assessing your current water and electricity use and costs and determining which appliances use the most energy. Next set goals and monitor the performance of appliances and solar equipment to make decisions on how to get the most out of your system.
- Look at your passive solar home design
Choosing your home’s site, orientation, materials and climate where it is located, can reduce extra heating and cooling systems. A well-designed passive solar home will have devices collecting solar energy facing within 30 degrees of true south, will have materials retaining or reflecting heat, will use natural light to illuminate the home and will have good ventilation.
Introduce daylighting to your home to ensure natural light streams inside through double-pane skylights, light shelves and clerestory windows. Windows with two panes of glass, glazing and efficient framing materials insulate better than conventional windows.
- Check your roof material and color
Energy efficient roofs keep homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Light-colored roofs work well in warmer climates as they reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than conventional roofs lowering the inside temperature during summer. Select a ‘cool roof’ with a surface made of coated metal sheeting, reflective tiles or that is coated with reflective paint.
Dark-colored roofs are ideal for cooler climates as they absorb light and heat, warming the indoor temperature in winter. High Performance GC can help you choose from a variety of energy efficient materials including asphalt, metal, wood, concrete and tile or even a green roof with vegetation that captures storm water to irrigate plants, add insulation, shade your home and improve air quality.
- Make sure you have insulation and seal air leaks
Heat gain arrives in your home mainly through the roof structure so you can improve your roof’s energy efficiency with insulation that helps seal air leaks and minimizes heat transmission. Insulated ceilings reduce heat flow in your home in summer and trap heat in winter to create a comfortable living environment, lowering home cooling and heating costs.
Use plant-based polyurethane foam made from natural materials such as bamboo, kelp or hemp as insulation for high resistance to moisture and heat. Look for financial incentives from government when you renovate your home with insulation, especially if you are in an area with cold winters or where there are many old houses.
- Get the right heating, cooling and ventilation system
Certified Mechanical can check your systems to improve energy efficiency ensuring connections are tight, parts are lubricated and air filters are changed. A programmable thermostat at an appropriate temperature can save money by turning down heating and cooling devices automatically when no one is home and at night.
Ceiling fans are better than air conditioners for cooling your home when it comes to energy efficiency and air conditioners are more efficient at heating than at cooling compared to conventional heaters. Check the ceiling, windows and doors for gaps where heat escapes and to see where drafts can blow through to improve the comfort of your home.
- Choose energy-efficient paints and coatings
Selecting the right color paint for your house is important as some paint is designed to absorb heat, while other paint is designed to reflect heat. If you live in a warm climate, painting your walls a lighter color will reflect more sunlight making it easier to cool your home.
Roof coatings can have special reflective particles to reflect sunlight, reducing heat that penetrates the roof and protecting it from ultraviolet rays and damage. Metallic pigments are more efficient in reflecting away the sun’s radiation than standard organic liquid tints, while a dark colored paint will absorb more light and heat, increasing indoor temperatures.