With the BC Energy Step Code in place, now is the perfect time to give your Vancouver home an energy efficient renovation! But what is included in such a renovation?

There are several components that make up an energy efficient renovation. This article breaks down what these components are – and the impact they have on the finished home.

The Key Components Of Your Vancouver Home’s Energy Efficient Renovation

 

1. Air Tightness

Air tightness is a vital component of an energy efficient renovation. The more airtight your home is, the less your heating and air conditioning systems will need to work – and the less energy they will use so the less money you will have to pay each month.

One of the best ways to make your home more airtight is to install a Building Wrap. A good quality Building Wrap will help prevent against air escaping, but will still allow moisture to exit your home. Why is releasing moisture important? Trapped moisture breeds mould and too much makes wood rot – a major issue with older and cheaper Building Wraps.

Therefore, if your budget allows it, we recommend opting for a higher end Building Wrap. Our favourites are Peel and Stick Wraps, which are generally 2.5 times more effective than the cheaper options.

2. Insulation

Insulation needs to be mounted on the interior and/or exterior of your walls. We recommend installing insulation on the exterior as it tends to be 30% to 50% more effective than interior mountings.

Like with air tightness, the better your insulation, the less your heating and cooling systems have to work so the less you have to pay each month. The average home built in the last century loses all its heat 10 times per hour, forcing the heating system to be running almost constantly. Good quality insulation can radically reduce that heat loss, saving you money and making your home much more comfortable and energy efficient.

3. Appliances

Appliances are another consideration for your Vancouver home’s energy efficient renovation. In the past, appliances were often 60% efficient or less. Meaning that 40% of the energy used to run it was lost. Now, though, you can get appliances that are 80% to 95% efficient. An energy efficient renovation is the perfect time to swap your appliances over!

Areas To Consider Making Energy Efficiency Upgrades During Your Vancouver Home’s Energy Efficient Renovation

 

In addition to the key components listed above, here are a few upgrades to consider for your Vancouver home’s energy efficient renovation:

1. Exterior Walls

  • Air and vapour barriers
  • Energy efficient windows
  • Energy efficient doors
  • Air intakes and exhausts

2. Bathrooms

  • Energy efficient exhaust fans
  • Water efficient toilets
  • Mirror lighting
  • Water efficient showers
  • Temperature limits for faucets  

3. Kitchens

  • Focused lighting
  • Range hoods vented to the outdoors

4. Living Rooms, Dining Rooms and Bedrooms

  • Area lighting on dimmer switches
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Timers for heat and lighting

5. The Basement

  • Air and moisture sealing
  • Energy-efficient windows that maximize natural light
  • Proper ventilation

6. Mechanical Systems

  • Energy efficient heating and cooling systems
  • Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery
  • Well-designed ducts  
  • Energy efficient hot water tanks
  • Hot water pipe insulation

7. Outside

  • Energy efficient lighting
  • Tree cover for proper windbreak
  • Solar panels
  • A light-coloured driveway to limit heat absorption

8. The attic  

  • Air sealing and vapour barrier
  • Weatherstripping
  • Proper ventilation

In all these areas, you may want to consider using eco-friendly materials.