Older homes, like Steven Brinson’s 1923 Windsor cottage, have enormous character appeal.
But they can have enormous energy bills, too, because they were built in an era when energy-efficiency wasn’t a concern.
Energy-saving measures like high-efficiency furnaces, thermal windows and extra insulation simply weren’t part of the home’s original plan.
Home energy audit
In fact, as Brinson discovered when he had a home energy audit, his two-storey home rated just four points out of a possible 100 on Canada’s EnerGuide for Houses rating scale.
The rating compared his home to other homes of its age in the area, which meant that even for an older structure, Brinson’s home had tremendous potential for improvement.
“We thought that the energy bills were high,” says Brinson. But when his Home Energy Advisor showed him during the audit where and how his home was losing heat, he began to understand why those gas and electricity bills were so large.
Brinson says the Energy Advisor helped him learn “a whole lot, [like] where we could use more insulation. Where some of the leaks were coming from came as a surprise. He showed us that there were leaks coming from the recessed ceiling lights. We learned where it was warmer and cooler on the walls.”
Insulation and air sealing
Insulation was one of the most important energy-saving renovations for Brinson’s home.
He added insulation to the basement walls, basement headers, and main walls, making a vast improvement to the building envelope, and improving the home’s ability to keep the indoor temperature constant and comfortable.
He also had a contractor seal small cracks and gaps, to prevent air from leaking through trouble spots like the recessed ceiling lights. This air sealing process helps reduce drafts and prevent pollution and pests from entering the home.
Brinson had a furnace contractor remove the clunky old furnace — its efficiency, he estimates, was about 15 percent — and install a new high-efficiency condensing gas furnace, with a DC variable-speed motor.
The furnace runs a small electric fan that helps circulate the warmed air more efficiently, and its exhaust gas condensing system extracts a maximum amount of heat energy from the natural gas it burns.
Energy Star central air conditioner
To help the home feel cooler in summer, Brinson replaced his old central air conditioner with a new Energy Star-rated central air conditioning system.
Because the home is now well-insulated, the system doesn’t have to work as hard in the summer, and uses less energy overall. “The comfort level has changed incredibly and we’ve seen a savings on our energy bill,” says Brinson.
Instantaneous hot water
To save energy as well as space in the basement, Brinson removed the old tank-style hot water heater. He replaced it with a high-efficiency tankless, or instantaneous, hot water system that provides hot water on demand.
Because a tankless hot water heater doesn’t store large amounts of water that must stay hot all the time, it saves energy and provides a stream of hot water that doesn’t easily run out.
Grants and rebates
While saving energy was important to Brinson, he says the Canadian government’s grants and rebates from the Ontario government’s Home Energy Savings program helped him decide to go ahead with his renovations.
“The grants made us move quicker on the changes,” he says. “We were going to do the furnace and windows but ended up doing much more because of it.” The final cost for the renovations was large, but so was the amount of grants and rebates that Brinson received.
“In this economy, it’s tough to spend the money to do these upgrades, but you end up getting a good return on your investment,” says Brinson.
“The heating bills are so much better than they were, so it was great in the long run.”
Windsor homeowners can choose from a shopping list of renovation grants from the Government of Canada:
Windsor homeowners can also get ...
And there’s more.
Take advantage of Government of Canada ecoENERGY grants for home energy renovation in Windsor:
Enjoy all the benefits
Do it right
Each Windsor 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 Ontario energy advisor, you’ll make the energy renovations or "retrofits" that are right for your Windsor home — and help improve your energy costs and the Windsor environment.
Energy renovations help ...
And that’s not all. Here are more benefits ...
When you improve your home in Windsor, 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 Windsor homeowners like you are saving thousands of dollars and tonnes of greenhouse gases every year, by making the right energy-saving home renovations. Windsor Ontario homeowners can make a difference.
Learn more about Renovation Rebates in Windsor Ontario ...
To qualify you need a Windsor
home energy audit before your renovations.
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