Waste Reduction Week: How to Reduce Waste at Home

When you are venturing into the homebuying journey, you have a lot of choices and deciding between resale and new construction homes is one of them. But going with a new home that incorporates environmentally-friendly features is a great investment, and will save you money going forward as well. Energy-efficiency in home building has advanced a lot over the years, and nowadays it’s the standard new home buyers can come to expect when home shopping. According to the Canadian Home Builders Association, thanks to advances in building techniques and products, homes built now use half the energy as ones built in the 1950s.

Great advances have been made in building products that contribute to the “greening” of Canadian homes. Today’s new homes show clearly that environmental responsibility, energy efficiency and healthy indoor living go hand in hand with comfort, convenience and great design. [Canadian Home Builders Association]

Energy-efficient homes are a smart investment: easy on the wallet and the environment. In addition to the regular eco-friendly building standards our homes incorporate, we have put extra care into the green aspects of our new home projects, like Pier 11 of Airdrie and Saddlestone of Calgary. Here’s a look at some of the environmentally-friendly features we’ve made the new standard in our home builds:

  • Most of our new homes are equipped with NEST thermostats, which turn down temperatures when you’re away and you can also control them from your smartphone (in addition to other green features).
  • Low VOC paints and adhesives in our homes interiors.
  • All our exterior wall insulation is formaldehyde-free, and R20 insulation in the attic and walls.
  • The windows and exterior doors are complete with low expansion spray foam seal, so you can keep out those drafts and prevent energy from escaping.
  • All of the windows in these homes, including the basement ones, are filled with Low E Argon gas.
  • The furnaces are forced air 96% efficiency natural gas, with drip humidifiers.
  • All of the shower heads, faucets and toilet tanks are energy-efficient and water-saving. In addition, there are pressure balance valves on all the showers and tub taps.

Thanks to advances in construction and design, everything from the building materials to the heating systems are more energy-efficient, helping you save money (and the environment). You can also look forward to clean indoor air quality in a new home, as you won’t have to deal with any lingering odours or mould from past owners.

For even more ways to reduce waste at home, here’s some tips:

  • Seal air leaks: spend an afternoon going through your home and sealing and/or caulking plumbing lines, windows, electrical wires, attics and anywhere you feel a draft or see a crack. Preventing air/energy from escaping your home will save you money instantly.
  •  Program your thermostat: if your thermostat allows, set it to drop in temperature during times when nobody is home or higher temperatures aren’t necessary. For example, when everyone is at work, or during sleeping hours. This will cut your heating costs significantly.
  • Replace your bulbs: switch all of your bulbs to LED lights or energy-efficient alternatives. Experts say doing this will save you not only energy, but upwards of $75 a year.
  • Reduce your water heater: according to experts, most water heaters are automatically set about 10-20 degrees warmer than they actually need to be. By dropping the temperature, you’re saving both money and energy here.

For an advanced look at the green benefits of buying a new home, like energy-efficiency and environmentally responsible products, check out the Canadian Home Builders’ Association website. If you have questions about our green building practices, contact us anytime or reach us on Twitter.