Improve the energy efficiency of your home 

By Andrey Sokolov, Camrose Canadian Lifestyles Contributor

Improving the energy efficiency of your home means you can enjoy your new space that much more. Supplied 

Improving the energy efficiency of your home means you can enjoy your new space that much more. Supplied 

With this last dump of snow over the weekend it’s a reminder that winter isn’t quite over. So, there’s a lot of talk about energy efficiency and how to improve it in the home, but what does it mean, and where do you need to look in your own home? Let’s look at the two biggest areas of concern in the home and what you can do about them. 



Adding insulation to your home

Insulation is going to be the greatest factor when trying to achieve a higher energy efficiency “rating” for your home. Whether it’s the insulation in your walls, ceiling, or under your basement slab, all these areas contribute to you having a warmer home in the winter and a cooler home in the summer. There are obvious limiting factors when trying to add more insulation to some of these areas but it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Let’s start with the insulation in the ceiling, whether you have a new home or an older one, at one time the insulation in the ceiling space if it was “blown-in” had a certain insulation value but over time due to gravity that insulation will become a little more compacted and when that happens it reduces the insulation value in your ceiling. A simple solution is to hire a contractor to top off the insulation in your ceiling space. 

Adding insulation to your exterior walls can be a bit more difficult, however a simple solution would be to add insulation to the outside of your wall. An ideal time to do this is when you renovate the exterior of your home with new siding. This is also a great time to consider replacing your windows as well.  

Adding any type of insulation underneath your basement slab would be challenging. A simple solution is to use a product like Dricore Subfloor. This subfloor has a rigid insulation backing that keeps the subfloor from having the direct contact with the concrete resulting in a warmer basement floor and of course an overall warmer basement to enjoy. 


Stopping those pesky air leaks

One thing to consider is that energy efficiency doesn’t only mean having a high efficient furnace or hot water tank. During winter months it also means keeping the hot air inside your home from escaping and keeping the cold air outside from intruding. Take a walk around your home and feel around the exterior doors and windows. If you feel a cold draft coming in, find out where it’s coming from. You might be able to fix the problem by adjusting the weather stripping that is on the door or window, or you might have to buy some additional weather stripping from your local department store. It’s better to have the leak identified and have something over it to prevent the intrusion of cold air just coming into the house. Remember a temporary solution for the winter season is better than no solution at all. 

There are more ways to improve the efficiency of your home such as a high efficiency furnace, triple pane windows, direct vent hot water tank and even LED light bulbs throughout your home. No matter where you start, every investment into improving the energy efficiency of your home will mean keeping more money in your pocket when your utility bills come around. 

We’ll be over at the Home and Garden Show this weekend, if you have any questions stop by our booth and we’ll be more than happy to help. 


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