Green Construction


Making your house efficient can both help the environment and reduce your overall cost. Many people are unaware that their bills are too high due to a lack of energy efficiency in their home. There are many things that you can do yourself to help make your house more energy efficient and there are many more that can be achieved by calling in a professional. This site would provide you with some tips for reviewing your home to detect loss of efficiency. In addition, if you would like to go the extra mile a professional can be hired to review your home’s efficiency. In some cases, government rebates are available for this type of service and for the resulting upgrades necessary.

Energy Efficiency

Did you know that heating accounts for 60% of energy usage in the home, water heating 20%, appliances usage 10%, lighting is 5% and space cooling is 5% (Source: Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance).

What is energy efficiency?

Homeowners use either a product or service in their home that consumes energy. This can be gas for heating your home or electricity for your appliances.

Changing to an energy efficient product does not mean compromising on either energy or cost. For example, an energy efficient window would help the homeowner to save on energy since it would prevent heat from escaping in winter and at the same time helps reduce heat coming in at summer.

Energy Efficient Appliance

Choosing an energy efficient appliance can sometimes be difficult. When shopping for energy efficient appliances keep these few tips in mind to make a more informed decision:

  • 1. Energy efficiency – A homeowner might want to consider an appliance that can save money and at the same time reduce the environmental impact.
  • 2. Specials available – today the government is encouraging homeowners to purchase more efficient appliances. Cash rebates and other incentive programs are some things a homeowner may want to research on prior to purchasing an energy efficient appliance.
  • 3. An easy way to recognize an energy efficient appliance is simply by looking for the Energy Star logo. Appliances that use this logo are more energy efficient than older models. The star is a symbol that represents energy efficiency. However, do not get confused by energy guide and energy star. Inexperienced salespeople can mislead information, often mistakenly saying that an appliance is more efficient by having an energy guide label. However, all new appliances must have this guide, whether it is shown on the appliance itself or on the packaging. This guide simply allows the comparison of annual energy consumption and operating cost of different models of appliances.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs) and fluorescent lights. These types of bulbs can use up to approximately 80% less energy than the traditional incandescent and can last up to 25 times longer.

Energy Star qualified CFLs are available with special features such as dimmable capability and three way lighting, etc. LEDs are also available with lots of special features such as dimmable bulbs and recessed lighting.

Both CFLs and LEDs can be used for outdoors, they are both durable. However, LEDs are less likely to shatter making it a better choice for colder weather.

Energy Efficient Lighting

Electric lighting burns approximately 5% of the average home energy. Every urban home use lights. Chances are, if you look up there will be an incandescent bulb in the light socket. Although incandescent bulbs may cost cheaper at the upfront cost, the cost of using these types of bulbs adds up over the years. In Canada, incandescent bulbs are being phased out. Today, there are more energy efficient light bulbs available in the market such as;

At home, there are many things that a homeowner can do in and around the home to improve energy efficiency. Whether it is updating appliances, changing out light bulbs, installing new windows or replacing a boiler, this would be a great start to improve energy efficiency and at the same time save money and help protect the environment.