Many of our clients come to us to help them improve the aesthetics and or function of their home – the spaces that they can see and use. Things like comfort and energy efficiency are a lower priority, if a priority at all. It’s not until we ask questions about the comfort of their home that energy efficiency becomes part of the discussion.
Do you have some rooms that are freezing in the winter, and sweltering in the summer? What could be causing that? Often, it can be attributed to a few factors – old leaky windows which allow for heat gain and loss, under insulated walls, or a poorly designed mechanical system. When we assess a house as a whole, it creates the opportunity to improve your home in ways that do not affect the visuals, but can cause a marked improvement in the comfort of your home.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with how to rate the efficiency of your home, it all starts with a blower test. A third-party consultant will come to your home with a large fan that gets taped in to your front door. When the fan is running, it gives them an electronic read out of your home – where it has air loss and where it has heat loss. With the information obtained from this process, you can then identify the best way to improve your home. This process gives your home an EnerGuide rating. This allows you to assess your home prior to improvements and then again after you’ve renovated.
Some rebates are available from Manitoba Hydro for upgrades to your home. It’s important to research what rebates are available at the time of your renovation before undertaking any upgrades, as they do change frequently. Planning to take advantage of what’s available at the time is always the best practice. Sometimes the rebates offered make a higher-efficient but more-costly product more attainable.
From replacing all your windows, adding insulation to your attic or exterior walls, or re-working your entire mechanical system, to adding an opening skylight or simply re-caulking your windows, there are a multitude of options available to increase the function of your home. When you upgrade the system of your home, over time you will get “payback”, whereby the money you invested will be recouped in energy savings over the years. Your home will function better and be much more comfortable, as well. That’s what we call a Win Win.