With an increasing awareness of the long-term effects energy use has not only on the environment, but also on our physical health and monthly expenditures, the interest in energy-efficient homes has also increased.
These days, home buyers look out for much more than just location, size, and design when searching for their next home. Today, there is a huge social and ethical desire for homeowners to mitigate their homes’ negative effects on the environment.
At the same time, research and data also show that energy-efficient homes can produce positive results for homeowners’ physical and financial health too. However, most of Toronto’s homes — especially in the west end — are dated when it comes to energy conservation. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be improved upon.
To learn more about energy-efficient homes and what you can do to boost your home’s energy efficiency, read about our top trends buyers look for in an energy-efficient home here.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWH) have seen a sharp up-turn in the domestic water heating world — and for good reason. With lower energy required to keep them working and nearly indistinguishable water heating results compared to conventional electric resistance water heaters, HPWHs are a top-choice for energy-efficient homes.
Heat Pump Water Heaters work by absorbing heat from the surrounding air in the room they are situated in, using electricity to move heat within the internal mechanisms of the heater. For this reason, however, Heat Pump Water Heaters need a certain amount of space in the room they live in — generally a room of at least 100 square feet.
If you have the space, installing an HPWH can prove to be two to three times more energy-efficient than more dated water heaters by operating with lower power requirements while going for longer heating cycles.
Energy Recovery Ventilators
Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) are not only great for helping reduce power outputs for energy-efficient homes, but they are also hugely beneficial for their occupants’ health. The purpose of ERVs is to remove old, stale air from a home while constantly supplying the home with fresh, clean air from the outside.
ERVs also have advanced air filtration systems that capture things like allergens, pollutants, and contaminants within the air so we don’t breathe them in. ERV systems are designed to work in conjunction with the air ducts in a household HVAC system, and for that reason can be installed in virtually any home.
Additionally, ERV systems can save about 70 to 80% of the energy found in the exiting air and transfer it into the incoming air stream, which saves money on your heating and cooling bills while keeping your air clean and healthy to breathe.
Low-Emissivity Windows (or Low-E glass) is a relatively new technology in place to reduce the energy loss that occurs through glass windows. Low-E windows have a dual purpose — to stop heat from leaving your home in the winter while stopping heat from entering your home in the summer.
This is done by a microscopically thin coating applied to Low-E windows that block solar heat and UV rays that enter through glass windows without blocking the amount of sunlight that enters through them. This coating reflects heat from both sides, keeping your home’s internal temperature consistent without being affected by solar heat and UV rays.
Low-E glass windows have different coating options that are more suitable for different climates. Our Ontario climate, which transitions between cold winters and hot summers, benefit best from soft-coat Low-E glass windows.
Because Low-E glass windows work to constantly improve solar and thermal performance in a home, they are a massive benefit to energy-efficient homes.
While everyone knows it’s common practice to switch the lights off when you leave a room, nobody wants to have to give up light in exchange for a lower carbon footprint and lower energy bills. That’s why energy-efficient home lighting that saves on both energy output and money spent without sacrificing use time is high on home buyers’ priorities lists.
Compared to the dated incandescent light bulbs, energy-efficient lighting produces the same amount of light while using much less energy to do so. You can make the switch to energy-efficient lighting by replacing any older incandescent bulbs with halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps, or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs very easily.
This quick lighting update will not only save you money while you live in your house, but it’s also an appealing aspect new home buyers will take note of if you plan to sell your home. Replacing old bulbs for new energy-efficient ones will just be one less thing they will have to worry about doing themselves.
Are you exploring the possibility of listing your current home on the market? Whether you have an energy-efficient home or not, our team of Toronto real estate experts know exactly how to help you prepare your home for a successful sale. Reach out to us here to talk about selling your home today.