Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

Hi, my name is Joanne Nesbitt and I'm with Windfall Ecology Centre and today I'm here to talk to you about how to make your home more energy efficient. It's important for us to focus on home energy efficiency both to lower the use of natural resources, in turn lowering the gas emissions and in turn saving on long-terms costs. Every part of your home is connected. All the parts work together and all that becomes an eco system within itself. Assess the home so that you can see what parts work and what parts don't and how to improve that. A Certified Energy Advisor is a trained person who would be able to tell you where your deficiencies are that way they can give you a fair and honest report as to how you the homeowner can make adjustments to your home. A blower test is a part of the testing done for the Eco-Energy program.

What that does is shows you where the air loss is its self so that you can pinpoint where you need to do repairs. What I am going to do is I'm going to depressurize the house. So I'm going to blow air out of the house. I'm going to induce air leakage. I'll be able to add up all the little holes and tell you the actual size of the hole. Once you've had an energy audit this report is going to show you what your energy rating is. And its going to list for you, what those deficiencies are and how you can upgrade it. Once you have the energy audit done, you have 18 months to complete any of the work that you wish to do. After your second audit you will get a rebate based on the individual change you've made to your home, up to $5000 from the federal government and $5000 from the provincial government.

There are a number of things you can do to improve the EnerGuide rating on your home. The black hole is the accumulation of spaces that allow air to be exchanged in your home. Those can be your windows, your doors, and your basement area if you do not have insulation in the basement. These old wooden doors are very common in old 1930s houses. I can feel air leakage coming through the mail slot, and I can feel air leakage coming through here. I can see actually right through to the outside. The gaps around these outlets are where you going to loose some air, so what were going to do is take some sort of foam cover that you can get at your local hardware store and we want to slip this around the frame of it and basically you've helped to close that off.

Energy loss is coming from this if you don't have that sealed. Take some foam stripping and put it up in this section here along this edge so you're getting less air exchange from inside and outside the home. Older homes can quite often have single pane windows, now those windows will transmit cold and heat so sealing them is your best option if you cannot replace them. These windows are very old and very inefficient, there's going to be a lot of heat gain and air leakage form these windows. There are certain products that are on the market that are doubled sided tape that you would put around the frame work of the window itself and then you would apply a plastic sheeting to it. That works especially with the single pane windows because that will help to prevent that air exchange. OK, so if you break the house down to its mechanical components, this water heater is the least efficient thing in the house. Wrap the unit with a blanket, keeping the temperature of the water in the tank warmer, and that way its not loosing the heat, set your hot water heater to 120F, 54C.

Use the faucet closes to the hot water tank, run the water and just get a gauge on what the temperature is. Insulate the first 2 meters of your hot water pipes; with an insulating foam sleeve and that will further reduce your heat loss. We're now in the furnace room and were going to be taking a look at the furnace in regards to efficiency. Change the furnace out for a gas line your going to go to a 92% efficiency or higher. For oil 85% efficiency or higher. Changing your filters or cleaning them on a regular basis will increase the efficiency of your furnace. By changing from an incandescent bulb to a florescent bulb you can save approximately 75% on each bulb that you change over. LED lights are light emitting diodes they save your approximately 93% on your hydro bill and they'll last approximately 15 years.

But it is best in high use areas, so if your quite often in your living room or your dining room or the family room, those are the areas that you really want to save energy on because you've got those lights on, on a more frequent basis. By getting involved in this type of program and talking to your neighbours so that they can have a better understanding of how you can help them and their home and if everyone on your block did it well they're saving energy within their home, your saving energy within your community. It just takes a little bit of information and a little bit of effort and everyone can make this kind of effort..