(NC)-If you’re planning a home renovation, now is the time to think about making your house more comfortable and energy efficient – and saving money along the way.
In many homes, upgrading the roof, the walls and major equipment such as the furnace will produce the biggest energy and dollar savings. By piggybacking any energy improvements onto a larger renovation, you get more out of every dollar you spend. If you miss the opportunity, you may find yourself ripping out a nearly-new building component for a future energy upgrade.
Here are some things you can do to put together an energy-smart renovation project:
If you’re replacing your furnace, consider a high-efficiency model. It’s likely that the additional cost will be covered by the energy you save over its life span. You might also consider air sealing or adding attic insulation before you change your furnace. By amortizing the cost of renovations against the money you’ll save with lower heating bills and the reduced cost of a smaller furnace, you may find even more savings.
While you’re renovating the attic, you should also add or replace the insulation and upgrade or reseal the air-vapour barrier to control drafts and moisture.
If you’re finishing your basement or upgrading your rec room, there’s no better time to insulate and seal the outer walls. Before you do, make sure that the exterior surfaces of the walls are properly watersealed from the outside, or you risk creating mould problems. It’s always best to speak to a professional first if you’re considering this type of work.
Every time we use energy from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, we produce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and harm our environment. As part of Canada’s effort to help the environment, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has developed the EnerGuide for Houses Program (EGH). Managed by NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency, EGH can provide a wealth of unbiased, expert advice on every aspect of home energy efficiency. An EGH energy advisor will help you make better decisions about your home. More than 50 000 Canadians have already received our help. For more information on EGH, or for the name of an advisor in your area, visit the EnerGuide Web site at http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/news. Or call 1 800 387-2000 toll-free and ask for a copy of our brochure “Counting on Comfort”.