Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Results of our Home Energy Audit

The results of our home energy audit are in. On a scale of one to 100, with the latter being most efficient, our 90 year-old home rates 43. If we accomplish all of the recommended retrofits in our report, we will increase our home’s efficiency rating to 76. That’s a 56 percent jump in our home’s energy efficiency and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 6.3 tonnes per year. Not bad, and much better than I thought it would be.

Our report is lengthy, 20 pages altogether, and full of advise on how to best weatherize our home. Recommended retrofits are prioritized according to potential rating improvement. For our home, top items are:

  • Heating System – replace our heater with an ENERGY STAR qualified gas furnace that has a 92.0 percent annual fuel utilization efficiency or better, equipped with a DC variable-speed motor. Potential Rating Improvement: 12.6 points. The federal grant, which is matched by the province, is $500. I understand that our utility will kick in about $200 as well.

You can see that the recommendations are detailed and specific.

  • The next priority at 10 potential improvement points is Wall Insulation. We need to increase our exterior wall insulation by an amount greater than RSI 1.59 (R-9). The federal grant, matched by the province, is $1500.

  • Next on the list is Basement/Crawl Space Insulation. I won’t get into the gory details. I think you get the picture. Other recommendations for our house in order of priority are attic/roof insulation, air sealing (more caulking), replace windows & doors, and replace our water heater with one that is tankless.

The report’s layout is very helpful, enabling us to zero in on top priority areas. I was happy to hear that GreenSaver also offers their services in insulating our home, something many contractors may not be interested in doing.

The retrofits will take place in the months to come. We look forward to an efficient and comfortable home next winter.

In terms of resale value, for those of you who feel that energy efficiency isn’t high on a home buyer’s list, think again: Smaller, energy-efficient homes popular: survey

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