Does your house cost a fortune to heat and cool? Should you switch energy sources? Get a new furnace?
While all these questions are valid, they are not the most important ones. The main issue is something more basic — how fast does your house lose energy?
You can have the most efficient furnace or air conditioner in the world but still spend too much on energy if your home is not properly insulated.
If you are concerned about your home’s insulation, consider getting an EnerGuide Home Evaluation. This federal government program provides detailed information about your home’s energy efficiency and about which house components are the best retrofit options for reducing energy consumption. A trained energy adviser will come to your home to conduct an evaluation from the basement to the attic.
When it comes to home energy efficiency, insulation and air sealing are both important. Insulation works by reducing energy losses due to conduction. Air sealing works by preventing heated and cooled air from moving outdoors through cracks and gaps.
Many Canadian homes are under-insulated. Even homes built as recently as 2011 would not meet current building codes in some parts of Canada. If there is not at least 22 inches of insulation in your attic, it could pay off to add more. Canada has many programs to help pay for energy upgrades.
To get full value from your home improvement dollar, always work with professional contractors who back their work up with a written warranty. The Canadian Home Builder’s Association is this country’s best free and independent source for finding reputable insulation contractors.