Energy Efficiency: Tips for energy efficient improvements that you can make to your property

Home improvements increase your home enjoyment, but they also affect your home’s resale value.  The cost of energy means that for many Canadians they will search for energy-efficient properties when shopping around.  Here are some tips that will help you plan for your energy efficiency improvements with a focus on resale value:

Audit – Hire a home energy auditor to identify upgrades that save average homeowners 30% on annual energy costs. Take advantage of government grants and rebates to help mitigate the costs

Seal – Caulk and weather strip air leaks around windows, doors, vents, electrical and plumbing. Identify and seal leaks in attics, basements and crawlspaces, and properly seal ductwork to save on heating and cooling costs

Insulate – Install or upgrade insulation for the best performance. To optimize heat resistance, understand insulation R-values and the minimum values recommended for floors, walls and attics according to your climate

Change – Swap leaky doors and windows with high performance options that include low-e coatings and inert gas fills. They offer significant improvements in solar control, thermal comfort and energy savings, therefore reducing heating costs.

Replace – Increase the efficiency of your furnace and air conditioner  by replacing filters regularly. Consider replacing older heating and cooling systems with higher efficiency units that reduce energy use.

Control – Reduce heating and cooling bills with a programmable thermostat. Follow energy-efficient temperature set points and reduce heating or cooling when you are sleeping or away

Water – Fix leaky faucets and choose low-flow fixtures and faucet aerators to save on water and energy consumption. Insulate water pipes and heaters and practice conservation with water-related appliances

Light – Use 10 times longer lasting compact florescent bulbs which use 75% less energy than standard bulbs. Dimmer switches also help reduce energy consumption and promote longer bulb life.

Landscape – Plant trees and save on heating and cooling consumption. Plant deciduous trees in front of southern facing windows and coniferous trees in front of windows facing north.

Shop – Look for the Energy Star symbol when purchasing appliances, home systems and electronics to help save on energy costs and reduce emissions

I hope these tips help and remember: greening your home helps reduce your energy bills and promotes a healthier planet, while at the same time improving the resale value of your home.

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