Who doesn’t remember the parent or grandparent who kept vigilant guard over the thermostat? Even if we didn’t personally know someone like that, it has become a common trope—and for good reason: energy is costly! Every degree on the thermostat accounts for a percentage of the monthly energy bill, and when you are the one paying the bills, it certainly is tempting to put a lock on the dial! While the logic remains, the times have changed, and we now have a variety of ways to ensure that homes are energy efficient.

If possible, it’s best to start planning for efficiency in the design phase. A home should be designed according to the prevailing sun, wind, and cloud conditions in the area. Starting from scratch is easier for implementing efficient ideas—but existing homes can also be renovated and retrofitted to increase energy efficiency. Here are a few ideas to help maximize savings.

Harness Natural Lighting

South-facing windows can be great for letting in natural light year-round. Even better, having an overhang blocks the high summer sun from heating the interior while allowing the low winter sun to peek in.

Get Quality Windows

Good quality windows may be pricey, but they are one of the most important ways to prevent heat transfer in and out of your home. In Canada, triple-pane windows are the way to go if you’d like to avoid “heating the outside”—as the old saying goes.

Consider Solar Power

Despite the cloudy Vancouver winter, it is possible to defray a lot of your electrical expense with solar power. And with the proper setup, you can produce a surplus in the summertime and sell it back to BC Hydro. A setup like this may take twenty or more years to pay for itself—but if you’re willing to make the investment, it will pay for itself and increase your home’s efficiency. Furthermore, even if you are not ready to invest fully in a solar set-up, you can still make your new home “solar ready” for a future investment.

Get Smart

There are lots of ways that smart technology can help save on energy bills. LED light bulbs are becoming the new norm due to their reduced power usage and longer life span compared to normal bulbs. Timers can be attached to plenty of utilities to ensure they aren’t drawing power when not in use. And last but not least, to appease the thermostat guardians: invest in a programmable thermostat to keep constant seasonal temperatures and reduce the temperature when nobody is at home.

Best Builders has been renovating older homes and building new ones for over 15 years. They are a multiple-award-winning builder that brings fine craftmanship to projects, turning dreams into reality.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about your home project, please call us at (604) 943-2378 or email us at info@bestbuilders.ca.

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