5 Tips for Building an Energy-Efficient Home in Edmonton
At Timber Haus, we’ve dedicated ourselves to designing and building a home that suits your needs – and your neighbourhood. But we’re also focused on building an energy-efficient home. It’s good for the environment and good for your pocketbook.
It’s important to know that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or style to save money on your power bills.
Here are five ways to create an energy-efficient, stylish, and comfortable space, whether it’s a rental property or your family’s home.
5 Ways to Design & Build an Energy-Efficient Home
1. Use the Sun
When you think of solar energy, you probably think of solar panels. And they’re an option for your home if you want to add to your power grid. But there’s also a building technique called “solar tempering” that takes advantage of the Sun’s rays to heat your home with strategically placed windows.
It’s cold in Edmonton from November to March, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use those beautiful, clear prairie skies to your advantage. Ask your builder about south-facing exposures and ways you can make the most of solar tempering to heat your home naturally and provide an abundance of natural light.
2. Super-Seal the Building Envelope
If energy efficiency and comfort are a high priority, it’s worth the investment to super-seal your home’s “inside” spaces. It can be tough to establish what’s “inside” and “outside” your home. While an attic is under your roof and part of the house, it’s generally not a space that’s temperature-controlled. The same goes for an attached garage.
A super-seal surrounds your actual living space in an airtight pocket using custom drywall, adhesives, and caulking to keep drafts and cold air out and keep heat in. While not required by code, we recommend it for homes in colder climates like ours.
You don’t have to give up on fresh air to have an airtight home. A well-planned ventilation system and output points will ensure a flow of fresh air without sacrificing temperature control.
3. Choose your Windows and Doors Wisely
Windows and doors are one of the biggest liabilities for heat loss in your home. Building inspectors and insurance agents in Edmonton focus on safety features – ease of escape from the home in case of an emergency coupled with security from outside intruders.
The expense of well-insulated doors and triple-paned windows might seem unnecessary and excessive, but this investment will pay off. You can enjoy maximum exposure to natural light without creating a heat sink on the exterior of your home.
Keep in mind that the more frames you include, the more heat you’ll lose. Window panes are more efficient barriers to the elements than aluminum or wood frames.
4. Explore Heating and Cooling Options
Heating and cooling options have expanded considerably over the past decade. If you grew up in a home heated with a forced air furnace, you’ve become accustomed to warm, dry air blowing in the vents throughout the winter – and probably a pot of water on the stove to add humidity.
With a properly sealed home, though, and a heat exchange unit, you can achieve an efficient system that warms your living space and purifies the air in the process.
5. Think About your Water Use
Second, only to heating and cooling, hot water is the most significant drain on energy consumption in a home, unless you take steps to minimize waste.
If you’re opting for a traditional hot water tank, consider where in the home you’re likely to use the hottest water regularly, and close the gap between the tank and those faucets. You’ll reduce the waste of hot water that sits in the pipe after you’ve washed the dishes or had a shower.
Another option to explore is a tankless – or on-demand – hot water heater. Unlike a hot water tank that keeps water warm at all times, an on-demand system uses short, intense bursts of heat to deliver hot water when and where it’s needed. They’re 22% more efficient than a traditional tank and reduce water waste…consider that tap you leave running until hot water finally makes it to your faucet from the tank.
They’re more expensive upfront but deliver a more energy-efficient and economical service in the long run.
An energy-efficient home starts with sound design.
There are so many considerations when you’re building a custom home. A good design/build team will walk you through every one of them with ease. We’re committed to building a garden suite or new family home that suits your family, your investment goals, your budget.
When you work with a design/build team that can give you all the options, help you weigh them, and make decisions that meet your expectations, your home building project will be a pleasure, not a burden. Contact us, and our team will get started on building your perfect home.