New "brick to brick" windows like those shown here are a more energy-efficient option than simply installing new inserts into your old, inefficient jambs.
With the eco retrofit rebate offered last year, you actually made money if you insulated your walls and attic. The rebate was greater than the cost of the product and labour combined. This resulted in a 20 to 50 percent increase in savings on your heating and cooling amount. The product of choice for wall insulation is Roxul, because it is manufactured in one of the most eco-advanced facilities with a very small carbon footprint.
2 Household appliances
Replacing your furnace, hot water tank and air conditioning unit with highly efficient models is usually a good start when reducing the energy consumption of your home. Before doing the work, check with your gas/electric provider to see which appliances qualify for the rebate programs in your area. If you don’t have the money to pay for new appliances, never fear – they can all be leased from companies associated with your service provider. The beauty of this is that even if you only lease the appliances, you still qualify for all the rebates. Rental programs also include a service package, which means annual tune-ups are free and your machines will keep running efficiently.
It’s usually obvious when it’s time for new windows. And the technology that goes into today’s windows is far superior to anything more than 20 years old. If you want to reap all the benefits of new windows, be sure to tell the installer doing the measure that you want them to be “brick to brick,” not “inserts.” Inserts leave you with smaller windows placed into the old, inefficient jambs.
4 DIY details
There are a few quick, simple improvements that you can tackle on your own that will increase the efficiency of your home for very little cash invested upfront. Here is a quick eco to-do list with jobs that can be completed in a day:
- caulk around windows
- add weather stripping to door gaps
- install low-flow shower heads
- put aerators on faucets
- switch to compact florescent bulbs
- change your furnace filter
- set up a programmable thermostat