Upgrades for a more energy efficient home

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Spray Foam Continues to be the most Energy Efficient Insulation

“Green” is the new popular word these days, regardless of the industry you’re in. It can have two meanings, it can refer to the ingredients of a product and how natural they are or how “green” they are, or it can be revering the the energy efficiency of a home or building.

Embarking on a large-scale renovation to implement green technologies and increase the efficiency in your home, isn’t always possible. This doesn’t mean you have to give it up all together, there are ways through smaller installations to increase your homes efficiency. Doing smaller simpler upgrades can be just as effective and will aid in keeping you inside your budget. Here we take a look at some of these upgrades you can do to increase the energy efficiency in your home.

HOME AUTOMATION

There are many energy efficient upgrades you can do under this title. With the internet being connected to various appliances and controls. If you haven’t heard of home automation and home security Toronto, basically it is connecting appliances to wifi, which fundamentally allows for communication through the internet and can be controlled through an app on your phone. You have full control from your phone (so long as you have internet on it) and can control lighting, thermostat, locks on doors and windows, ovens etc and you can adjust them when you are away. This will ultimately make your home more efficient and leave more money in your pocket at the end of the month. Here’s a look at some of the options.

THERMOSTAT

Your thermostat is a great place to start if you are considering upgrading to a smart “green” home. When a smart thermostat is installed, it learns your schedule and habits, and will adjust the cooling and heating needs accordingly. This will mean that your HVAC system will be running at the most efficient levels while catering to your needs, and ultimately making your home that more efficient. Past the performance aspect, there is usually an energy efficiency option within the thermostats programs, that would make a smart thermostat a very smart decision investing in.

LIGHTING OPTIONS

There are various optional upgrades you can go with in your home to increase energy efficiency. First and foremost, you should get rid of the incandescent bulbs and replace them with newer greener bulbs. Within the greener bulb options, there are two main players, LED and CFL’s (compact fluorescent bulbs) . LEDs tend to be more expensive initially than the CFLs, but they usually do last longer, and don’t have poison mercury in them either which can be concerning if a bulb breaks.

Additionally to going with green bulbs, switching to dimmers over conventional light switches will also increase the lightings efficiency.  It gives you more control over the amount of electricity being drawn from the lights bulbs, but it also has a pleasant side effect of adding ambiance to any room.

Finishing, by installing smart light switches/dimmers, that can be connected and controlled remotely form a phone, it can really make an impact on increasing the energy efficiency of your lights consumption. Something like pre-programming a front porch light to turn on at a specific time so as to not have to stay on all day, this would significantly reduce your lights consumption.

APPLIANCES

By switching old conventional appliances to Energy Star rated specifications, you are taking very good steps towards making a more energy efficient home. Of course you can now have many of these modern greener appliances hooked up to be controlled from you phone or smart home device, this way you can control your smart appliances to run during the most energy efficient time of the day. An interesting concept that helps you understand the potential savings, are cameras built into fridges, you can now see the contents of your fridge and save the energy it would waste by standing with the fridge door open.

SPRAY FOAM INSULATION FOR HOME EFFICIENCY

All these things mentioned above are great, however a major player in how efficiently your home runs is the insulation you have installed. Traditional materials used for insulation such as cellulose or fibreglass, can result in a home that has major heat loss without you even noticing. The cumulative cracks and crevices of an average home where heat can escape can often be too large which will ultimately leave your home losing too much heat.

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Traditional insulation has the negative characteristics of losing its insulating value over time as well, also they tend to shift and create new spaces where air can pass through and ultimately make your home less efficient because of the compensation your HVAC systems has to do. Also , traditional insulation has limits to the spaces it can fill, so even from the initial instalment there are weak parts to your insulated home.

Spray foam insulation or closed cell foam insulation on the other hand expands immediately on application and fills all the surrounding space. This creates a superior seal and can fit into all the hard to fill awkward spaces resulting in a more energy efficient home and less work for your HVAC system. Spray foam insulation also doesn’t deteriorate over time and will keep its integrity throughout the life of your home.