A Greener Home in a Few Easy Upgrades

A green household is an admirable goal in today’s climate of concern over environmental issues. By reducing, reusing and recycling the average homeowner can reduce their energy consumption and utility bills while contributing to environmental sustainability. Taking a few simple steps to upgrade the home using green rated materials has long-term benefits both in cost saving and in energy efficiency.

Energy Star Appliances

Designed for both energy efficiency and elegance, today’s Energy Star rated appliances meet stricter guidelines for energy consumption without giving up performance. Thus, the homeowner upgrading their appliances saves energy and lowers utility costs while also contributing to environmental sustainability. Natural Resources Canada maintains an inventory of Energy Star rated appliances, as well as cataloging Energy Star Most Efficient products that are at the top of their class.

Energy Efficient Windows

A significant source for energy leakage is unglazed and single pane windows. In 2008, the National Research Council Canada conducted a study comparing residential energy consumption of low solar heat gain (LSG) and high solar heat gain (HSG) window glazing. They found that “HSG glazing would be expected to produce savings of between 13% and 17% in combined heating and cooling costs for these Canadian locations, while the LSG glazing would be expected to produce savings of between 8% and 10% compared to the conventional glazing.”

Glazing for Savings

In particular, the NRCC study found that upgrading to glazed double-paned reduced heating costs by as much as $150. According to All-West Glass Ltd., a company that specializes in windows in Edmonton,using low emittance glass with argon fill between the panes further blocks energy transference, limiting heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Thus, window upgrading can meaningfully contribute to a home’s green rating.

Tankless Water Heater

Traditional water heaters consume energy and waste stored heat when hot water is not in demand. A tankless water heater can not only reduce utility costs, but minimizes heat dumped into the home. Consumer Reports states that upgrading to a tankless water heater can realize as much as 30% in utility savings. While the upfront expense is higher than for a traditional gas-fired water heater, the contributions to sustainability and utility consumption that this appliance allows more than make up for that cost.

 

Greening the household can happen through a few simple upgrades. Energy Star rated windows not only make the home more cost efficient, they also improve comfort; while updated appliances keep the home running smoothly and sustainably.

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