So, I have some exciting news... We bought our first house! It's got solid bones and great potential, but bring on the renos and updates. Now, time to practice what I preach.
Firstly, appliances. We went out and picked out all the Energy Star appliances we could. Washer, fridge and dishwasher. Unfortunately, they have not yet invented Energy Star dryers or stoves, or we obviously would have included those in our eco-friendly appliance hunt. Some day... But they are better than they used to be. Try to have a look on the EnerGuide and find the most efficient one anyways. But the good thing about Energy Star washers, is that you only need to use the dryer for half the time you generally would have needed, thanks to the washers "extended spin cycle" and other fancy features I have yet to experience. In addition to feeling good about doing my part in saving the environment with my new energy efficient appliances, BC Hydro offers rebates for making the effort. Incentive or what? Check it out @ http://www.bchydro.com/rebates_savings/.
BC Hydro also has a fridge buy back program, so you can trade in your old fridge for a new efficient one, and they pay YOU to recycle your old fridge. Appliances weren't in the house, so that wasn't applicable to us, but it might be to you. Also worth-while to check out the parts on windows, lighting and electronics. (The link above can bring you to that, too.)
Next, the furnace and hot water tank. Both original to the house, I'm pretty sure. I'm guessing they are not that efficient, even though they are in great shape. Still looking into this one, but definitely needing to upgrade to an Energy Star furnace and hot water tank. Another incentive program I've looked into is LiveSmart BC, which provides incentives for not just space heating and water heaters, but also for insulating, replacing windows and doors, and air sealing and ventilation. Check out www.livesmartbc.ca/rebates. You need to get an energy assessment pre and post retrofit, but that will give you bragging rights about how much more energy efficient your home is! And of course, it will qualify you for your rebate!
Other things we will be updating will include flooring, lighting, windows and exterior doors, and the plumbing fixtures. The windows and doors will add to the insulating factor of the house, not sure which ones we will pick specifically, but they will be efficient, believe me! When picking out windows and doors, keep in mind the U-factor (the lower the U number, the more energy efficient the windows or doors are) As for plumbing fixtures, we will be checking out the low flow features. Toilets, faucets, shower heads, you name it. Here's a few tips from BC Hydro again @ http://www.bchydro.com/guides_tips/green-your-home/water_guide.html
A great reference for products energy efficiency can be foundon the Natural Resources Canada website @ http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/pml-lmp/index.cfm?action=app.welcome-bienvenue&lang=en.
Well, that's it for now, until we figure out what else we want to do with the house!
Ants on a Blog
By Jena Keenan