Fall is here and as temperatures drop, many Edmontonians start to think about getting their homes cozy and ready for winter. One excellent way to do this is to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Energy efficient renovations not only reduce your environmental impact and can save on your monthly energy bills, but they can play a major role in keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round—even during extreme weather events.
First and foremost, energy efficiency upgrades can make a huge impact on your home’s indoor air quality and thermal comfort. For example:
- Air sealing. Air-tight homes allow minimal transfer of treated air between indoors and outdoors. This helps keep homes at a consistent indoor temperature year-round and increases indoor air quality (that is, less outdoor pollutants find their way indoors).
- Windows. Efficient windows minimize heat transfer and allow you to sit and enjoy the sunlight from the comfort of your own home without getting cold.
- Insulation. Better insulation helps maintain a consistent indoor air temperature year-round and reduces the burden on your heating system by minimizing heat transfer through walls, foundation and roofs.
- Mechanical Systems. Energy-efficient homes have electrical mechanical systems which run quieter. Proper ventilation and filters can keep indoor air fresh during the winter all while keeping windows sealed tight and minimizing emissions from heating.
In addition to year-round comfort, efficient homes are more climate resilient and prepared for extreme weather events.
- A 2014 study from the Urban Green Council found that during a winter blackout in New York City, the temperature inside a typical single-family house would drop to 1.7 degrees Celsius after just three days. But a high-efficiency house would stay above 15.5 degrees.
- The opposite is true for extreme heat events in the summer—indoor air temperatures rise much slower in high performing, energy-efficient buildings.
Do you want to learn more about energy efficient homes? The City of Edmonton wants to help. Check out the Home Energy Retrofit Accelerator for more information on getting an EnerGuide evaluation for your home and what rebates are available to you to help with your home’s energy efficiency journey.