Energy Saving Ideas – Windsor Essex

Saving Energy in a Windsor Essex Home A large portion of that energy is wasted in the majority of Homes. If you use efficient measures, you can reduce your energy bills by 10% to 50% and, at the same time, help reduce air pollution. An energy efficiency plan for the whole house is key Keep in mind that  heating systems include not just a furnace, but the heat delivery system. A top of the line furnace in ineffective without a proper distribution system.  Insulation is often more important that the efficiency of a furnace. First find out which parts of your house use the most energy, you can do this by getting a home energy audit A home Energy Audit  will show you where these are and suggest the most effective measures for reducing your energy costs. Home Energy Auditing Tips Check insulation in your exterior and basement walls, ceilings, attic, floors, and crawl spaces. Check for holes or cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets that can leak air into or out of your home. Check for open fireplace dampers. Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained. Study your family’s lighting needs and use patterns, paying special attention to high use areas such as the living room, kitchen, and exterior lighting. Look for ways to use daylight, reduce the time the lights are on, and replace incandescent bulbs and fixtures with compact fluorescent lamps or standard fluorescent lamps. Creating an Energy Efficincy Plan Determine how much money do you spend on energy? Estimate whihc areas are your greatest energy losses? Estimate what the payback on each upgrade will be in terms of in energy savings? Determine if you can do it yourself or if you have to hire a professional? Set a budget and a time frame? With a Plan in place you now have a strategy for making smart purchases and home improvements Hiring a professional to conduct energy audits is also another good idea Professionals can use a variety of equipment such as blower doors, infrared cameras, and surface thermometers to find inefficiencies that cannot be detected by a visual inspection. Finally, they will give you a list of recommendations for cost effective energy improvements and enhanced comfort and safety. Insulation Checking your home’s insulating system is one of the fastest and most cost efficient ways to use a whole house approach to reduce energy waste and maximize your energy dollars. A good insulating system includes a combination of products and construction techniques that provide a home with thermal performance, protect it against air infiltration, and control moisture. You can increase the comfort of your home while reducing your heating and cooling needs...

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Replacing Your Furnace Windsor Real Estate

Replacing Your Furnace There are usually two major reasons why you are choosing another forced-air furnace. The first is that your furnace does not function. It has just broken down, irrevocably, or it has been “red-tagged” or condemned by gas inspectors. If it is winter, and your house is getting colder quickly, you may not have the luxury of making a reasoned choice on what to buy next. The other situation is that your furnace is getting old, or your fuel bills are becoming too excessive to tolerate. In this case, you have the time to shop around and get the best furnace and fuel for your situation. This About Your House is written to address both situations. If you have a dead furnace and a chilly house, you will probably take some shortcuts in your selection process. Choice of Fuels For many years, CMHC and others could offer sound advice on what fuel choice would be the most economical. During that period, heating systems based on electricity or propane cost the most to operate. Heating oil was somewhat more economical, and natural gas (if available in your community) was the least expensive choice. Since 2000, the prices of these commodities have been fluctuating, and it is difficult to offer reliable advice on pricing. At one point in 2001 – 2002, heating with electricity in Manitoba was as economical as heating with natural gas. Predicting these prices over the next two decades (a common life span for a furnace) is nearly impossible. The best advice is to make a calculation based on the current prices quoted to you in your locality. See the text box entitled “Calculating fuel costs.” Calculating Fuel Costs Here is a rough comparison of the relative costs of heating an older house in Ottawa. You can put in your own fuel prices and the efficiencies of the appliance that you are choosing to compare relative costs. Note: It is often difficult to isolate the cost per unit of fuel, be it gas or electricity. Include all the costs that relate to the m³ of consumption forgas (for example, gas supply charge, gas delivery charges, gas surcharges). Electric utilities often also have a bewildering range of charges. Apply all the charges except fixed charges (for example, $10/month connection charge). For oil appliances, use an energy content of 38.2 MJ/litre of oil. For electricity, use 3.6 MJ/kWh and 100-per-cent efficiency. Note: 80 GJ (or 80 gigajoules) is the energy required for heating the example house over the winter (heat load). Your own house will likely be different. However, the relative costs calculated for alternative fuels and furnaces in the example house should help you make a selection...

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Your Furnace Filter Windsor Real Estate

Your Furnace Filter Compliments of www.cameronpaine.com What a Furnace Filter Can do for You Traditionally, furnace filters were designed to protect the furnace and fans. With increased air quality awareness, some filters are now being installed to reduce exposure to particles which can affect your health. There is a wide variety of furnace filters available. However, you may find it confusing to select one which is suitable. This purpose of this document is to provide you with guidance when selecting your furnace filter. What Airborne Particles are Found in Your Home? The particles you breathe in your home come from a variety of sources including: dust on floors or other surfaces that is disturbed by activity in the house dust generated by smoking, burning candles, cooking, doing laundry, etc. hair and skin flakes from humans or pets particles from the outside air which come into your home with infiltrating air Some particles are so small that they are inhaled and then exhaled without being trapped in your lungs. Some larger particles are trapped in your nose and throat and never reach your lungs. Still other particles are too large to be inhaled.The particles most dangerous to you are those that enter your lungs and lodge there. You can see the particles of dust which accumulate on your television screen, shelves, and furniture. But you can’t see the respirable particles. Respirable particles can be easily inhaled into your lungs and provoke respiratory illness. Although you would probably like to keep visible dust out of your home, the main health risk comes from respirable particles, which include tobacco smoke, spores, bacteria, and viruses. The activity levels of the people in your home can affect the air you breathe. Activity such as vacuuming and cooking can create or stir up particles. On the other hand, during periods of inactivity such as the middle of the night, particle concentrations tend to be much lower. Filter Research CMHC conducted a study to verify filter manufacturer claims and to determine whether good filters will significantly reduce your exposure to airborne particles. All results are compiled and discussed in the research report: Evaluation of Residential Furnace Filters (1999). You can obtain a copy of this report by calling the Canadian Housing Information Centre (CHIC) at 1 800 668-2642. A summary of the results of this study follows. Research Program The CMHC study first tested ten filter types in a single home and then the following filters in 5 additional homes: i) 25 mm (1″) premium media filter ii) Charged media type electronic iii) 100 mm (4″) pleated media filter iv) High efficiency bypass filters, such as a HEPA (high efficiency particle arrestor) v) Electronic plate and...

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What to do about a wet attic Windsor Real Estate

Attic Venting, Attic Moisture and Ice Dams It is rare for Canadians to visit their attics. For many years building codes have required high levels of attic insulation, making attics less-than-hospitable places. People usually go into their attics for one of two reasons: animal intruders, such as bats or squirrels, or water leaking through the top floor ceiling. This guide deals with water entry, such as roof leaks, ice dams, and attic condensation. Consult your local pest control expert to rid the attic of creatures. What to Do If Water Comes Through Your Ceiling Find out where the leak is in your ceiling by measuring its location from the nearest outside walls. Then, go into the attic through the attic hatch. It is often hidden in the ceiling of a closet or in the wall of an attached garage. If it is in a closet, move the clothes out of the closet so loose insulation won’t stick to them. Take a good flashlight and a tape measure. When walking in the attic in older houses, step only on the wooden joists that cover the floor. The joists are usually spaced every 16 inches. They are often hidden under a pile of insulation. If you step off the joists, you will probably put your foot through the plaster or drywall ceiling below. Many houses, especially in warmer climates, have some type of floorboard over the joists. This makes walking easier but can make air sealing and insulating more complicated. Most houses built since the 1970s do not have attic rafters and joists, but trusses – usually at 24 inch centres – with the ceiling below attached to the lower chords. Walking in trussed attics is trickier than walking in older attics. If you find vermiculite insulation in your attic, do not disturb it. Loose-fill vermiculite insulation may contain small amounts of asbestos, and you should consult a professional if it is going to be disturbed. CMHC’s information piece Asbestos provides additional guidance. One further caution: if you find a significant amount of animal droppings from bats or birds, do not disturb them. They can grow molds that can cause several illnesses. To clean up droppings, you need good respiratory protection (masks) and clothing that can be bleached or discarded. Find the water leak. Use the tape measure to roughly locate where the water is dripping through the ceiling below. Lift the insulation in this area to find the pooling water. Sometimes the water runs along the attic floor for quite a distance before coming through the ceiling. Trace the water to its source. Look for leaks in the roof, especially around chimneys, plumbing vents, and attic vents – anything that...

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