If you live in Edmonton, you know that it is a cold weather city. We are the northernmost large city in North America with temperatures that occasionally get down to below -40°C in the winter months. In a city like Edmonton, performing energy efficiency retrofits on homes makes a lot of sense. Not only do these types of upgrades cut energy bills and reduce emissions, but they also improve the thermal comfort and indoor air quality of homes, making for a cozier winter.
Homeowners often upgrade their homes over the warmer months, but if you’re looking for options to improve your thermal comfort and energy efficiency in the middle of winter there are a few things you can do:
- Air sealing. Efficient homes are sealed tight and do not let much air escape. If your home is feeling drafty, you can use weather stripping and caulk to ensure all cracks and openings allowing treated air to escape are sealed.
- Insulation. You want to reduce the amount of heat that is being transferred through your walls, foundation, and roof. To do this you will want to upgrade your insulation to one with a high R-value. This can be a major renovation better suited to summer, but during winter months you can still explore innovative products like sustainable forms of spray insulation or focus on improving insulation in areas like attics where renovations will have a lesser impact on your living space.
- Heating Equipment. Is your furnace getting old? You can explore your home’s potential for a heat pump and if that is not an option then a high efficiency furnace. While you’re at it you can look at technology for water heating too.
- Smart thermostats. Optimize your home’s heating with a smart thermostat. These devices can customize air treatment to match your daily schedule while using as little energy as possible.
Be sure to connect with a building professional to perform an EnerGuide home evaluation to help plan your energy efficiency upgrades. They can create a project plan customized to your house and help ensure that the renovations you do are sequenced correctly and complementary to each other.
The City of Edmonton’s Home Energy Retrofit Accelerator program provides rebates to support all of the home energy efficiency upgrades listed above. You can also explore further rebates through Canada’s Greener Homes Rebate Program.