We’ve all heard it, in fact, you’d have to have been living under a rock for the past 2 decades to not have been inundated with the message that “Green is Good”. The message is so pervasive that nearly every business in every industry, to some degree, looks at ways that they can convey the message that they are “environmentally friendly”.
But why should you consider energy efficiency in your new home, and more importantly, is it worth investing your hard earned money into sometimes costly energy efficient features? There is a multitude of ways that I could attempt to answer that question, from the idealistic “to leave a better planet to my children” to the more practical “to save money on my utility bill”. For most people, however, the true reason lies somewhere in the middle of those two. And often forgotten is the reason that likely impacts your life the most; your day to day comfort of life experienced in your new home.
Let’s start with your utility bill. It is a fact that homes built to the new energy codes meet certain efficiency standards that will use significantly less energy than most homes built prior to the Energy Code introduced in 2016. We have discovered that our typical Brost built home constructed to our standard specifications with little to no additional money spent on “extra” energy efficient features will perform better than that which is required by this new code. We have also built many homes that achieve a BuiltGreen Platinum rating, which in turn saves our homeowners money through less energy usage. With this experience, Net Zero is within sight.
Now let’s move on to your comfort in your new home. There are the obvious contributors to comfort such as a tight building envelope or low E glass in your windows. Moving on from that, there are many other contributors that are less obvious initially but are immediately noticeable once you live in the home. For example, you can have an air tight home but still feel a sensation of a cool draft by the window. Why? Hot air rises, and on a tall window, the warm air will hit the top of the glass, cool quickly, and then rush down the face of the glass giving the sensation of a draft. It is, in fact, a “draft” (i.e. air movement) just not air moving from the outside to inside, and it is just as uncomfortable as the real thing. How do we prevent this? Our basic window spec calls for a high-performance glass that insulates better and therefore is more resistant to this convection current effect. Another example is hot water. If you live in a 2-storey, you can probably turn on a second-floor shower’s hot water and go brush your teeth before the water even gets warm. Now, why is that? In a 2-storey home, there can be anywhere from 20-60’ of hot water pipe between your hot water system and your shower. Over the course of an hour or two, the water in that pipe will cool so when you go to have a shower you have to completely empty that pipe before you will start to get warm water. What if you could have hot water instantly, thereby saving water usage and cost? With a Brost home, you can because our homes typically come with a hot water recirculation line meaning we are constantly recirculating warm water from your water heater and through the hot water pipes making sure the water is hot and ready when you need it.
Now, how about something as simple as a multi-stage furnace? A multi-stage furnace runs at different speeds depending on the heating requirement at that time, compare that to a typical furnace that is either on full blast or not running. Obviously, this saves you on energy costs but it also has more, less apparent benefits. Have you ever been sitting quietly reading on a cool day, then the furnace shuts off and you realize just how loud and intrusive that furnace noise was? Even worse, 5 minutes later it kicks back in at full power and now you really notice the sound? A better furnace will lessen that effect.
There are many other energy efficient features that we include in our homes that will ensure you are comfortable in a Brost built home. In 2018 we were awarded the CHBA-Medicine Hat Region award for “Greenest Builder”. Looking for your own energy efficient home? We would be more than happy to go over the benefits of “Going Green” with you any time.