Improve Your Home to Save Money and Get Comfy: Home Energy Story
Written by Christine Tan
After purchasing a raised bungalow home, Daniel Holmes assessed his home and realized a few changes needed to be made in order to improve the home’s energy efficiency. The bungalow has a walkabout basement that goes down to the garage that was very old and outdated and the cold cellar door wasn’t insulated. Knowing that the home required a new furnace to be installed, Daniel did some further research and found out that at least one other improvement needed to be made in the home in order to qualify for the furnace rebate from the Union Gas Home Reno Rebate program.
After hearing about Reep from HVAC installers, Daniel decided to support a non-profit organization opposed to a business that did assessments.
A Reep EnerGuide Home Energy Evaluation was conducted and it was decided that the attic and basement walls needed insulating on order to improve the home’s energy rating, along with Daniel’s idea of changing the furnace and door to improve energy efficiency.
“I then spend 6 months tearing apart the entire basement and reframing it with 2×4 walls, 1 inch away from the foundation to allow the maximum 4 inches of spray foam on 95% of the basement walls,” said Daniel, “I also removed the ceiling in the garage to have the ceiling spray foam at 6” and completely sealed the garage and the basement rim joists that allowed a lot of cold air into the basement.”
Reep’s EnerGuide Home Energy Evaluations allow homeowners to assess their homes and identify areas that can be improved upon in order to increase the home’s energy efficiency.
This can include identifying areas in which the most heat lost occurs through lack of insulation or air leaks, such as from window or doors. In this case, the evaluation identified that the attic and basement walls needed insulation to increase the house’s energy rating. By implementing further insulation in these critical areas, there will be less energy being used for heating/cooling in the home.
After conducting a follow up Energy Evaluation after these improvements were made, the EnerGuide Rating had very good improvements. In applying for the Union Gas rebate, Daniel received about $1,000 for the furnace.
Apart from the energy savings for such improvements, benefits in home comfort were also evident. “Our kitchen and living room floors over the garage were barely usable until the spray foam was complete. Heating was reduced but because we just moved into the house, we didn’t have a baseline to compare previous years,” says Daniel. Daniel also plans to replace 3 windows and sliding glass door in the near future to further improve the home’s energy rating.
The home had Energy Savings of 28%, Air Leakage Reduction of 48.6% and Carbon Emission Savings of 2.5 tonnes/year!
Daniel emphasizes the importance of researching your vendors and their various prices, as well as the benefits of involving someone who has been in the business for a long time. He explains, “the most rewarding part if improving my house that I was planning to anyways, but getting a decent amount of money back to support those improvements.” Apart from energy savings through home improvements, homeowners also have the opportunity to receive rebates in light of these changes, which can be done with a little bit of research and assistance from Reep Green Solutions.