There are a number of reasons to consider building an energy efficient home, including saving a considerable amount on your heating bill. Whatever the reason for your interest, we’ve put together a list of the best ways to building an eco-friendly home. To start, the most impactful ways are to invest in heating and smart technologies:
- If you have access to natural gas, there are two awesome options for highly efficient heating systems. First, our favourite system is radiant in floor heat. This system uses a gas fired boiler to heat up water that circulates through the in floor piping, which heats up the ‘bones’ of the home, creating an overall radiant heat. This is highly efficient because once it hits temperature, it stays there with very little effort from the boiler. Not to mention, it is amazing coming home to a warm floor.
- Our second favourite system is a heat pump with a gas furnace backup. This highly efficient system is a great alternative. It heats up your home in the cool months of the year and it cools it down in the warmer months. We love the new smart thermostats that track your use and can turn the system off while you are away from your home and have it heated up for your return. This saves on energy and electricity because it doesn’t need to be running the whole time you are away for it to be warm or cool when you get home.
- If you do not have access to natural gas, pack it up and move somewhere with the option for gas… just kidding! Now that we know you are still paying attention, the heat pump system we mentioned above comes with an option for an electric back up furnace, which would be the next best thing.
- Both the radiant in floor heat and the heat pump systems mentioned above are also compatible with Propane if that is your preferred energy source.
- Our favourite smart technology to use in our homes is the Nest. It allows you to control your home’s devices, lighting, heating, and camera’s from the convenience of an app on your smartphone or laptop. You can be on the other side of the world and check in on your home. You can turn some lights on, check to see who is at the front door or heat it up for your lovely cats who had to stay home for the weekend.
- The Nest gives you real time information about your consumption habits and gives you data that you can reflect back on to adjust your consumption habits if you so choose.
We wanted to point out to our lovely readers that we build our homes to a very high level of energy efficiency as a standard practice, especially if you choose to go with the radiant in floor heating or heat pump options mentioned above. Typically, you don’t need to add any more to get the efficiency and dollar savings you are looking for. However, if you are looking to take it a step or two further, we have some more options that you can consider:
- Exterior insulation – A great option you can add to your home to make it more energy efficient is a closed cell insulation to the exterior of the home. It is installed on the outside of the home, before the rainscreen and siding to create a higher insulation value for your home. It works to trap the heat inside to allow for less heating loss through the walls and concrete.
- Windows – Another option for higher R-Value is to go to a triple pane window, instead of the traditional double pane.
- Insulated Concrete Forms Foundation – These provide extra insulation and durability to the below ground walls of a home. They also more resistant to cracking and moisture penetration than the traditional poured concrete foundations.
- Solar Panels – You can install solar panels to the roof of your home or shop to counteract or eliminate your need for hydro electricity in your home.
If any of these topics peak your interest and you would like to talk to us more about building a highly efficient home, contact us today, we would love to help you to create your dream home.