This guide is
primarily aimed at homeowners who are thinking of upgrading or replacing their
home’s existing heating or cooling systems. It also contains useful information
for people who are having a home built for them, and for those who want to
reduce their energy consumption in general.
While builders generally offer a standard heating
or heating/cooling package, upgrades to more efficient equipment might be
available. Familiarity with the different systems, fuel options, their
comparative prices and operating costs will help you to review upgrade options
with your builder. Remember to also ask your builder about other energy
efficiency upgrades, which can range from extra insulation to a complete
R-2000-certified home. Before being R-2000-certified, each home is evaluated and
tested to ensure a high level of energy efficiency has been designed and built
into it. There are both financial and environmental benefits to conserving
energy and using it wisely. To help you conserve even more, this will also
direct you to resources that can help you reduce energy consumed for purposes
beyond heating and cooling your home.
A Wise Choice
The options presented will help you to select
heating and cooling systems that meet the needs of both your lifestyle and your
check book. Besides the obvious savings for you that occur by lowering your
consumption, by reducing demand for energy through conservation or, in the case
of electricity, even from shifting consumption to times of lower demand,
together we can lower the market price for the energy that is consumed. The
advantages of investing in energy efficiency aren’t only felt within your family
budget– they are realized in the cleaner environment that goes hand in hand with
more efficient systems and the wise use of
Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Putting an energy-efficient heating system into a
drafty, poorly insulated house will reduce your energy bills. But you’ll notice
a more dramatic saving, and even make yourself more comfortable, if you also
make your entire house more energy efficient. How? Here are some
- Weatherstrip and caulk to seal air leaks. You may
have to replace uncontrolled sources of air with
designed sources to ensure proper
- Increase insulation levels where appropriate (such
as in the attic or walls) to reduce heat loss in
winter and heat gain in summer.
- Open drapes on south-facing windows on
sunny winter days so that the sun’s energy can
help heat your home, and close them in summer to
help keep your home cool.
- Choose energy-efficient products when
replacing windows and
By making your house more energy-efficient, your
heating and cooling systems will work less, and you may reduce the capacity
needed when you replace your systems, which means more savings for
Why Energy Efficiency
It’s good for your budget, your comfort and our
environment. Each year you spend hundreds of dollars to heat and cool your home
and to heat your hot water. By installing energy-efficient equipment, which
gives you the same comfort for less energy, you can lower these costs.
Furthermore, the lower you can make your energy costs now, the better off you
will be should energy prices go up – and conservation reduces upward pressure on
Whenever fuels are burned – in your home, in a
generating station to produce electricity, in vehicles or elsewhere – carbon
dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide are released. These emissions
contribute to environmental concerns including smog, acid rain and climate
change. Reducing energy use lowers the amounts of these emissions and their
impact on the environment. You can help by practicing energy efficiency and
conservation not only in heating and cooling your home, but everywhere at home,
in the workplace and in your transportation choices. Many
factors can affect your annual energy bill such as size and location of
your home, yearly variations in weather, efficiency of
your furnace and other appliances,
thermostat settings, number of occupants, and the
local cost of energy.
Are you serious about how to go about
cutting your heating and cooling costs?
- Where appropriate, improve the insulation
and air sealing in your home.
- Use this guide to
help you decide what kinds of changes to
your heating and cooling systems will be right for you.
- Consult with a registered
heating/cooling contractor and your
fuel supplier before making a final decision.