Many standard-built homes on the resale market suffer from inherent energy inefficiencies. While these problems can often be addressed through home improvements, repairs can be costly. This leaves homeowners in a difficult situation, as they either have to come up with the money to make expensive modifications or continue to pay inflated energy bills season after season.
In many houses, the same types of problems recur over and over. Most of them can be traced back to inefficient central HVAC systems, humidity problems and unsecure building envelopes.
Here’s a look at six of the most common household energy problems and their root causes:
- Rooms that are difficult to heat or cool and drafty areas. Many older homes have certain areas that are much more difficult to heat or cool than the rest of the house. This typically results from aging HVAC equipment, blockages or problems in the home’s ducts, energy escaping through the windows, inadequate insulation, or a combination of these factors.
- Must, mold, mildew. Indoor humidity should be kept in the 40 to 60 per cent range, and most Calgary home builders recommend that you stay as close to the lower end of that range as possible. When indoor humidity gets too high, musty odors and deposits of mold and mildew begin to form. These can be hazardous to your health and expensive to fix.
- Condensation on windows. This is typically caused by inefficient windows that allow air to leak out. In addition to moisture on the glass, frost can form in winter and water can pool in window wells and windowsills.
- Damp basements. It is often particularly challenging to control humidity levels in basements, as moisture can enter the home through cracks and gaps in the foundation. Many homeowners combat this problem by operating dehumidifiers in areas where moisture levels are highest.
- Cold floors. While some flooring materials are inherently cool to the touch, inadequate insulation or cracks and gaps in the house envelope can bring the problem to an extreme level.
- Ice dams. This occurs during winter, when the warm air you’re using to heat your home rises and collects in the attic, causing snow on your roof to melt, trickle into your eaves, and refreeze. This is a potentially serious and costly problem.
These problems can also occur in newer standard-built homes. Unless you work with Calgary home builders that have a proven track record for energy optimization, you’ll be risking inflated energy bills and household inefficiencies.
Calgary Home Builders: Causes of High Energy Bills
If you’re finding that your energy bills are high and you’re unsure of the root cause, here are some of the potential contributing factors:
- Aging appliances. Many major household appliances tend to use more energy as they get old, particularly furnaces and air conditioners. Replacing older appliances will often lead to an immediate reduction in household energy costs.
- Cracks, gaps, drafts. Conditioned air can escape through cracks and gaps in your home’s roof, foundation and exterior walls, or through inefficient windows and doors.
- Misuse. Do household members leave lights on in rooms they’re not using? Are you heating or cooling your house when nobody’s home? These practices will lead to unnecessarily high energy bills.
- Inefficient systems. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED or fluorescent alternatives can help you reduce lighting costs. Low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce water consumption. Point-of-use water heaters can eliminate the inefficiencies seen in many hot water storage tanks.
Calgary Home Builders: The Fine Line Advantage
One of the major advantages of choosing Fine Line Homes is that all our homes are optimized for peak energy efficiency. We use proven design principles and cutting-edge technologies to reduce heat gain, conserve water and electricity and keep your operating costs as low as possible. As a result, our eco-friendly homes tend to have higher resale values than comparable standard-built houses.
Custom homes from leading Calgary home builders like Fine Line Homes don’t have to cost exorbitant amounts of money. In fact, they are much more affordable than you might think.
We built smart homes. We build efficient homes. That’s the Fine Line Homes advantage.