Even the most well-constructed home can become less efficient as it ages.
That’s what Victoria homeowner Brian Kalyn discovered when he had an energy audit on his 1969 two-storey home, and found that the four-decade-old home had settled and shifted enough to cause noticeable cracks and gaps in the structure. “I was surprised at how bad the air leakage was,” says Kalyn.
At the home’s energy audit, Kalyn’s Home Energy Advisor explained that the home was losing a large amount of energy through small cracks and gaps.
While these tiny openings don’t typically affect the structural integrity of a home, they can have a major impact on its energy efficiency. They allow air to travel into and out of the home, which means warm air can escape in winter, and enter the home in summer.
These gaps also let in dirt and dust, pollen, and even insects. All of these are a nuisance, but worse, they can affect the indoor air quality and even lead to further damage to the building envelope.
While heat can escape through gaps where window frames meet a home’s walls, the windows themselves can also cause a home to lose energy. That’s because heat conducts easily through older windows built with single panes of glass and uninsulated window frames.
To prevent further heat loss, Kalyn installed 11 high-efficiency thermal windows that are Energy-Star rated for the Victoria climate zone.
The windows contain a layer of inert argon gas sandwiched between two panes of glass, which helps them insulate better. They also have a special low-E coating, which prevents the sun’s rays from making the home feel too hot in the summer.
Because his home was also losing a significant amount of heat from its basement, Kalyn added insulation to the concrete walls and wall headers. By adding insulation to the walls before he finished the walls, he was able to save energy and create a more comfortable living space. “I did the air sealing and insulation myself,” he says. “It was easy.”
Air source heat pump
Kalyn hired a contractor to replace his home’s old low-efficiency oil furnace with a high-efficiency Energy Star-rated air source heat pump.
An air source heat pump is an extremely efficient way of heating and cooling a home, particularly suited to the B.C. climate. By installing the heat pump, Kalyn drastically changed his home’s energy use patterns.
Now his home uses just a small amount of electricity to stay warm, rather than burning a large amount of home heating oil for the same result. The air source heat pump operates even more efficiently in tandem with the new thermal windows and complete air sealing. “I love the heat pump,” says Kalyn. “In fact, I’m quite tickled pink about it.”
Renovations add up
After all of his renovations, Kalyn says, “there is a huge difference in the comfort level of my home. I have to say all of them together made a difference.”
And, he adds, the government grants and rebates gave him a couple of important reasons to renovate: “To save money,” he says. “I’m a green guy. I could say it’s about the environment too ... I recycle and stuff like that, but I also want to save money too.”
And for other Canadians wanting to follow his energy-saving lead, he has this advice: “It was easy. If you can make a phone call, you can do it.”
Victoria homeowners can choose from a shopping list of South Coastal LiveSmart BC rebates:
Victoria homeowners can also get ...
And there’s more.
Take advantage of government rebates + grants up to $7,000 and more for home energy renovation in Victoria BC:
Enjoy all the benefits
Do it right
Each Victoria home has its own specific energy-savings needs, and yours is no different. The right renovations add up to big savings. By following the expert advice of a certified BC energy advisor, you’ll make the energy renovations or "retrofits" that are right for your Victoria home — and help improve your energy costs and the Victoria, BC - Capital Regional District’s environment.
Energy renovations help ...
And that’s not all. Here are more benefits ...
When you improve your home in Victoria, you also make a difference to the rest of the world. You’ll help address important global issues like ...
And there’s even more. Click here to learn how Victoria homeowners like you are saving thousands of dollars and tonnes of greenhouse gases every year, by making the right energy-saving home renovations. Victoria BC homeowners can make a difference.
Learn more about Renovation Rebates in Victoria BC ...
To qualify you need a Victoria
home energy audit before your renovations.
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