5 Things To Pay Attention To When Buying An Energy Efficient Home

By: Joshua Campbell

5 Things To Pay Attention To When Buying An Energy Efficient Home

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Having an energy-efficient home is the best kind of home. They are great for the environment and will also save you money in the long run! If having an energy-efficient home is on your shopping list, here are five noteworthy aspects of an energy-efficient home that you should pay attention to.

#1 ENERGY STAR® Certified Homes Or LEED® Certified Condo Buildings

Administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada, the blue ENERGY STAR symbol indicates higher standard homes. These can save you money, energy and let you enjoy better indoor living. The equivalent process for condos is the LEED® certification process which has multiple target levels from Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

#2 Continuous Insulation

Mandated by the 2017 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings, Continuous Insulation (CI) throughout the building envelope components is essential to stop thermal bridging. While it is difficult to verify without professionals, the areas to check are the walls in an unfinished basement and the insulation in attics. The thicker the insulation, the better.

#3 Heating and Ventilation Systems

In Canada, a home's heating system accounts for 61.6% of a house's energy use. Therefore, optimizing it is a priority. Look for ENERGY STAR® certified heating equipment like boilers, dehumidifiers, heat pumps, furnaces, and smart thermostats that reduce energy use. An energy recovery ventilation system can also transfer energy from conditioned air going out to fresh incoming air. Thereby reducing energy loss in the home.

#4 Water Heater and Fixtures

Water heating contributes to 19.3% of a home's energy costs. An ENERGY STAR® certified water heater will cut your electricity bill and your carbon footprint. In some provinces, having a Drain Water Heat Recovery (DWHR) system is mandated by code.
Water conservation with low-flow fixtures is a key in the LEED® certification process. They are designed to save water over conventional fixtures. They have a lower flow rate while still maintaining satisfactory performance.

#5 Glazing Systems

While doors, windows, and skylights provide warmth and light, there are cooling costs associated with poor glazing systems with bad U-Factor and Shading Coefficient (SC). Look for the ENERGY STAR symbol because ENERGY STAR certified windows are about 20% more energy efficient than the average window. Doors are about 15% more efficient, and skylights are about 35% more efficient. If ENERGY STAR symbols are not present, always look for double glazing or triple glazing with low-emissivity coated glass.

Energy-efficient homes save homeowners money and protect the environment. They also keep families warm in the winter months and cool in the summer months. In addition, an energy-efficient design preserves the integrity of a house, increases its lifespan, and boosts its value. While the ENERGY STAR® or LEED® certifications give you a direct indication, with the tips above, you can also make your own determination with or without the certified symbols!

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JOSHUA CAMPBELL (@knowledgebrkr)
Real Estate Broker
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Centre, Brokerage
249 Avenue Road • Newmarket, ON L3Y 1N8




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