Most homeowners continually look for new ways to update the look of their home while being energy-efficient at the same time. Living greener is also important for improving the air quality and cutting back on harmful toxins found within an air-tight space. Here are a few home improvement tips that can help you add beauty to your home plus provide a more comfortable atmosphere.
The Secret of Cork
Cork is an amazing natural product that is made from tree bark. These cork trees are never downed and continue to provide substantial products. Popular in home renovation for floor replacement, users find that cork is durable, sound absorbent and a wonderful insulating material. New technology has provided different styles that virtually trick the eye into seeing wide planks of wood, bamboo or marble effects. Easy to care for and never cold, cork is easy to install for a home improvement project. Different shades are also made to match any decor.
Tackle Winter Blues with Solar Light
Having sunlight stream into your home during the dead of winter may sound appealing but can be expensive. Tubular skylights have been introduced as an alternative to costly skylights that require major home renovation. An aluminum tube is fitted between rafters with a polycarbonate UV resistant dome on the exterior. Light is allowed to flow evenly into any area without danger of fading carpet and saves on energy costs. This is a great home improvement idea for those that live in areas with dark winter months. Plants also thrive under the vast sunlight, providing cleaner air.
Mold Resistant Products
Mold is considered a silent killer because it hides and works on respiratory areas of the body. While trying to keep your home as clean and airtight as possible, there is always this risk. If your home improvement project consists of replacing drywall, look into a new product that partially does away with organic material that mold feeds on. Fiberglass facing is being used as a barrier against moisture and is offered by most of the top drywall manufacturers. Caulking, drywall tape, paint, sealant and insulation are also available to help protect your home from mold.
Bathroom Smart Fans
If your home improvement project is geared toward the bathroom, be sure and include a smart fan. Fans that dissipate high humidity are great for keeping mildew and bacteria at bay but no one wants to run the bathroom fan all day. The smart fan detects someone entering the room, turns on and stays on as long as high humidity is detected. Once the humidity level is brought to a normal level, it automatically shuts off. A home renovation of the bath has a much better chance of staying fresh and clean when utilizing proper humidity levels.
Home improvement jobs can be time consuming and seem never ending. By selecting new items that address problems in your home, you will feel more secure and also be able to add value and flair. There are many other home renovation ideas that are available through companies that strive to update products for better living. Follow those that promote green construction and LEED energy efficiency. Your home improvement projects will become more worthwhile and provide a larger degree of comfort to your family.
Energy Efficiency In Renovation
The process of renovating a home or business can be a intimidating one. You wonder to yourself, “Well, the home should be remodeled.” But you are not able to precisely make up your mind what needs to be worked on. Other than the evident eaky roof, rotten basement, archaic tiles, old fashioned decorations and color, you ponder to yourself that there must be more that you can do in order to add value into your home investment. Here are a couple of tips: Before anything, always consult with a professional contractor if you can before starting any major home renovation project. He can give you more professional consultation regarding the issues directly relevant to your home. Let us look at going green: Using Solar Powered Panels: if you live in abundantly sunny regions, it might be wise to invest in solar energy. Though somewhat expensive to install, solar powered energy is by leaps and bounds more proficient and generates no carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Solar power is utilized to create electricity for a home and also to create heat. Altering the shade of the outside paint: repainting the outside of your home, use lighter colors. They colors reflect solar radiation. Encapsulating your crawl space, basement or attic: most crawl spaces are vented to the exterior which can cause heat or cool air to be lost. Having your crawl space is appropriately insulated with conventional 20 mil vapor barrier liners can produce better energy savings. It has been documented that nearly twenty percent of energy costs come from heat diffused in the crawl space, basement and attic. Radiant Heating: think about installing radiant heating to increase your basement heating systems. LEED and USGBC endorse radiant heating systems as a safer, more energy efficient heating system. That is due to the fact that radiant heating heats a home from the floor up as opposed to moving around warm air that will simply rise and leave the ground level of a home chilly. Furthermore, radiant heating provides better stability in temperature inside a home, permitting one to reduce standard temperature settings while keeping the same warmth. Do it yourself Energy Examination: create the time to record your energy utilization habits. Figure out what you are using on a monthly basis and start applying some of the above methods to see those figures begin to decrease. One of the first things to search for when completing an energy audit is air leaks. It has been estimated that nearly thirty percent of energy per year is lost through air drafts alone. If you take the time and complete this evaluation of your energy consumption habits, you will definitely save money.
With the 2012 Ontario Building Code deadline calling for homes to be 35% more energy efficient than homes that are built today, new home builders could be faced with the additional cost of installing higher end heating and cooling systems. And new home buyers may be looking at more sophisticated heating and cooling systems that require a higher level of expertise in maintenance and repairs. A practical alternative for both builders and new homebuyers is a bundled rental package that includes a water heater, along with a furnace, air conditioner, air handler or drain water heat recovery system. Since 2003, Reliance Home Comfort has offered bundled rental packages (rental furnaces, air conditioners, water heater and air handler combo systems, indoor air quality products and more) to the existing residential market, and the option has caught on with a growing number of homebuilders. In 2009, over 4,500 homeowners chose to rent their furnace, air conditioner, or system from Reliance. And for the past two years, Reliance Home Comfort has been offering its Comfort Value Bundle Program to the new homes market as well. Builders can choose from three set packages or they can have one that is custom, with any combination of heating and cooling products. One of the more popular bundles is a water heater and air handler rental. Other possible combinations include a water heater with air conditioner, or with air handler.
Reliance provides rental customers with complete peace of mind. We take the risk out of products and services that are essential to our customers lives. And we make it easy and affordable for families to stay comfortable all year long, says Neil Martin, marketing manager for Reliance Home Comfort.
Typically new homebuyers expect the furnace to come with their home and the idea of renting your furnace is a fairly new option. Our Comfort Value Bundle program is becoming a popular choice with customers who value the ability to heat and cool a home for maximum comfort and energy efficiency at the lowest cost.
Currently, 96% of Ontario homeowners rent their water heaters. The Comfort Value Bundle Program
is a natural extension of this approach and Reliance Home Comfort is working to raise awareness
about this option amongst GTA homebuilders.
Builders save on capital costs and, depending on the energy efficiency of home comfort products, homeowners can save up to $35 per month on their energy bills.
Rental rates for a high-efficiency gas furnace and an Energy Star water heater is approximately $50 per month probably less than your cable bill, says Larry Brydon, senior account executive for Reliance Home Comfort.
We take the worry out of replacing heating and cooling equipment by paying the capital cost and by providing guaranteed service 24/7/365. And if you sell your home, the equipment is carried on to the
next homeowner, who assumes the rental agreement.
Reliance Home Comforts large network of licensed service technicians are trained to maintain and
repair a variety of products including GSW water heaters, Rinnai tankless water heaters, Venmar heat
recovery ventilators, Goodman furnaces and air conditioners and Power-Pipe drain water heat recovery
systems. Homeowners have live phone support in the event of a breakdown, as well as 100% coverage
on all parts and labour. One of such licensed contractors of Reliance is ACfurnaceGTA.ca (division of Air Efficiency Corp.) doing the quality installation of all Reliance HVAC equipment.
Were seeing a lot of interest now, especially since the Energy Star and LEED programs in the new homes market, Brydon says. Energy Star for New Homes is a proven program aimed at building homes that consume less energy, on average about 25% less than a home built to minimum Ontario Building Code standards.
The LEED Canada for Homes program goes beyond Energy Star for New Homes by pushing energy efficiency even further, and offering higher standards for clean air and less water use.
There is a big uptake on products offered as part of Reliances Comfort Value Bundle Program with first-time purchasers who are young and eco savvy, as well as retirees, who are socially responsible and are concerned about ongoing operating costs, says Brydon.