When building, renovating or buying a new home, it helps to think in terms of the house as a system. You should understand how all the factors in the house work together to create an energy-efficient environment.
It's a Balancing Act
There are many forces at work in a house: the effects of wind and weather and the flow of moisture, heat and air. These factors must all be kept in the right balance.
Adding insulation, air barriers or vapour barriers can each affect moisture conditions and ventilation. You need to know that it is energy efficient. That is why the house-as-a-system approach considers not just the individual parts, but also the interaction of all the facets of the house, its equipment and systems, occupants, potential weather conditions, environmental factors and its occupants.
Take a closer look at what energy efficiency means to a new home.
Features to Look for:
- properly installed and inspected insulation in floors, walls, and attics
- high-performance windows: advanced technologies, such as protective coatings and improved frames, to help keep heat in during winter and out during summer. These windows also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight
that can discolour carpets and furnishings.
- tight construction and ducts: sealing holes and cracks in the home's envelope and in heating and cooling duct systems helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen and noise. A tightly sealed home improves comfort
and indoor air quality while reducing utility and maintenance costs.
- ENERGY STAR certified heating and cooling equipment that can lower energy usage and also be quieter, and improve the overall comfort level of the home.
- ENERGY STAR certified products: lighting fixtures; compact fluorescent bulbs; ventilation fans and appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines
- a third-party verification – independent inspection will verify the energy-efficiency measures, as well as insulation, air tightness and duct-sealing details.