Rick Willianen’s tip to homeowners – look to home’s water system for energy efficiency.
When many of us think of efficiency when it comes to the home, we envision smart appliances and home monitors and energy reducing light bulbs and aesthetic fixes that are both functional and practical. However, many innovations are happening to make the parts of the home we don’t regularly see more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Natural Resources Canada offers a helpful guide on what to look for when purchasing energy efficient products, and recommends looking for appliances and products that can help you save energy, lower utility bills and reduce impacts on the environment. However, finding a list of what to look for in home building materials, roofing supplies and water system distribution tools is a little more elusive than a simple click on the government website.
To find out how to make the internal functions of your home as energy efficient as the rest of your home, it’s recommend you consult an expert who can advise you on particular issues specific to your needs.
However, there are some general pieces of information to keep in mind.
Start at the top of your home, namely your attic.
High quality attic insulation is one of the easiest and most cost effective way to reduce energy costs. It’s estimated that making sure the attic is properly insulated can “cut your heating bills more than any other home energy upgrade,” according to a Green Energy Efficient Homes blog post.
An ambitious homeowner can install attic insulation themselves. If you live in an older home or don’t have to time, a professional can be hired to ensure every nook and cranny is sealed. Fiber insulation is usually blown into the attic or laid down using sections called ‘batts’. The fiber insulation can be made out of fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool or even sheep’s wool. Put very simply, insulation reduces energy loss by stopping heated or cooled air from escaping from your living areas into the attic.
Replace your home heating and cooling systems, if dated.
Like a properly sealed and insulated attic will drive down energy costs, so will an energy efficient home heating and cooling system. Many of us don’t think about our furnace until it stops working. But, experts advise that homeowners should replace old systems to reduce ever rising energy costs.
“A good rule of thumb is that it is time to replace your equipment if: your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, your equipment is breaking down often, or your energy costs are rapidly going up,” according to Green Wikia.
Make sure your home’s arteries (the water systems) are efficient
A home water and plumbing system can be one of the main energy drainers in the home. Helpful to note: Viega has introduced the industry’s first ManaBloc parallel water distribution system. This state of the art plumbing system incorporates a network of PEX distribution lines dedicated to the individual plumbing fixtures in the home. With a dedicated tubing line for each individual faucet, wait time for hot water is significantly decreased, which can reduce both energy costs and water costs.
Rick Willianen, an Edmonton based home construction estimating manager, was very impressed by the Viega technology when he saw it at a trade show. “The range of options and the scalability of the Viega ManaBloc system allows us to include the product in all sizes of homes,” Rick Willianen mentioned, “giving us design flexibility while maintaining consistency in our installations.”
The Viega ManaBloc also makes water line repairs easy.
“They can isolate any given supply line in its entirety, which means the rest of the home is not without water and the work can proceed without affecting the use of the other fittings or fixtures in the home,” Edmonton’s Rick Willianen added.
Making your home more efficient is the easiest and best way to protect your pockets from rising energy costs. Plus being more energy is also great for the environment.