Utility costs have been steadily rising from year to year and this trend does not show signs of stopping. This is why many homeowners throughout Toronto have been looking for ways to make their homes more energy efficient. During the house renovation process, there are many changes that you can make to reduce the amount of energy it takes to run your home.
Especially during cold Toronto winters, heating costs are generally the largest utility cost. Your heating equipment does not have to work as hard or run as frequently if your house is well insulated.
During a house renovation, you can either add to your existing insulation or change to a new type of insulation. An increasing number of homeowners are choosing to install foam insulation and other types of insulation that can act as an air barrier.
Speaking of air barriers, you can further reduce your heating and air costs by sealing the building envelope. This means taking steps to eliminate areas where air can flow in and out of your house, such as gaps around windows and other areas where there are drafts.
Some people fear having their house sealed too tightly because of indoor air quality. Indoor air quality does not have to be an issue if you install mechanical ventilation to your heating and air system. Because you have greater control over the air that enters your home, you can actually enjoy cleaner, fresher air if you install a filter.
You can also cut your utility costs by upgrading to major appliances that require less energy to operate. This might include your washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, or dishwasher. These are obviously very large purchases and it will be a while before your utility savings allow you to see returns on this investment. It is likely best to wait to replace your appliances until they are in need of costlier repairs or they are clearly beginning to run quite inefficiently.
The same rule applies to your HVAC equipment. Your heating and air conditioning systems may be operating more frequently not because the house is poorly insulated, but because the equipment is struggling to supply the temperature control that is needed.
If your equipment is not very old and is still running well, it is probably best to wait to upgrade. You can, however, check to see if you need to replace any dirty filters or if you have any ductwork that needs to be resealed or replaced. These small tasks can help your equipment better perform its job.
As you can see, there are many different factors that affect the energy efficiency and the utility costs of your home, and each house is a unique case. If you have a home in the Greater Toronto Area that you would like to make more efficient through a house renovation, contact the Reno Pros to learn more about the services available and to request a free quote.
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