An environmentally friendly home can be so energy efficient, it significantly reduces your energy bills. You can measure energy efficiency using the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). To rate or score a home, the HERS Index looks at variables, such as exterior walls, ceilings, roofs, foundations, attics, doors, windows, and HVAC systems, as well as floors over garages, cellars, and other unfinished spaces, which Calgary condo builders focus on during construction.
A new home may be rated 100 on the index. If it were to fall to 0, that would mean it is supplying more energy to the grid than its occupants consume.1
Ways to Make Your Home More Environmentally Friendly
Even if home builders in Calgary aren’t constructing your dream house from scratch, there are many upgrades to help you go green, including:
- Windows: Upgrading your leaky, worn-out windows can bring down your energy bill. The A-G ratings indicate how efficient a product is. An A-rated window is the most efficient; double-glazed windows can save you the most. Changing out all of them may be initially costly, but the energy savings will be substantial.
- Appliances: There are similar energy-efficiency ratings used for household appliances. For example, refrigerators can be rated from A+++ to G. The more efficient the product, the more you’ll save over its operating life.
- Solar panels: Producing your own energy, obviously, helps cut back on how much you consume and pay for. There are incentives to help pay for installations. Ultimately, you may end up generating more energy than you use, which you can sell back to the grid. Payback time is about 20 years.
- Installing a hot water tank jacket: Under six months.
- Insulating a loft: About two years.
- Installing cavity wall insulation: Five years or less.
- Using suspended timber floor insulation: Six-and-a-half years.2
Greening Up Your Home Without Upgrades
You don’t have to spend top dollar to overhaul your home or be shown homes inAirdrie, Alberta built to the latest efficiency standards. Turning off the lights when leaving a room can reduce wasted energy and help preserve the environment (reduced output and waste from power plants). Also, your appliances may not be off when you think they are. Since they still draw power when not on, unplug them. Better yet, connect multiple appliances to a power strip to save yourself time.
Other tips that’ll work with houses for sale in NW Calgary, in the Saddlestone community, and elsewhere include:
- Turning off water heaters or installing tankless units.
- Using your thermostat efficiently (setting it to 78°F in summer and 68°F in winter).
- Taking shorter showers and avoiding baths.
- Using an outdoor clothesline instead of a dryer.
- Closing blinds and drapes to keep summer heat out.
- Allowing warm sunlight in during the winter.
- Closing all doors/windows while the AC is running.
These tips will lower your energy bills. If in the market for a home, new condo builders in Calgary are using the latest green technologies, materials, and techniques to maximize efficiency and reduce your energy costs. To learn more, read about Genesis Builders Group’s construction process or contact us at 403-265-8079.