A growing concern in Canada is the efficient use of the energy resources we have available to us. Issues such as our shrinking supplies of natural gas and electricity, pollution in the air, and greenhouse gas emissions are compounding to a problem that is quickly on the rise. This growing concern affects all energy consumers, whether you’re a tenant renting a unit or a homeowner who owns a home or a condominium.
Common Energy- and Water-Wasting Problems
Wind drafts can enter your home through walls, floors, windows, ceilings and doors that have cracks and holes. This can cause problems during the winter, where your home would be cold and drafty, resulting in more heat being consumed to keep a desirable temperature. Homes that are drafty are more prone to problems with noises outside being more audible. In the summer, your home can get hot and sweaty, and more A/C would be consumed in order to have that cool temperature that is so needed in the hot summers. Both of these scenarios can make your home more expensive and lead to excessive consumption of energy when it really isn’t required.
If the interior partition walls, floors, and ceilings of your home have cracks and holes in them, it can cause a flow of air throughout out your home, and into other units if you live in a building.
Odours, noise, tobacco smoke and pests can move throughout your house or to neighboring apartments if there are small gaps. The cooled or heated air will tend to move in unexpected ways and eventually leave your home or building.
To achieve optimal air temperature and humidity in your home or unit, the reduction of air leakage is important.
Ventilating, Heating, and Air condition systems and Maintenance
To ensure your ventilating, heating, and air conditioning systems are using the least amount of energy, one must maintain the systems so it is always working in an efficient manner. This leads to less services and repairs in the system, which help you SAVE MONEY!
Windows and Doors
Use the Heat from the Sun
In the winter months, one can always use the FREE HEAT from the sun to keep your home in a desirable temperature.
o Blinds and curtains on the south-, west- and east-facing windows will have the most amount of sun shine, therefore keeping them open will help bring in the most amount of heat.
o You can also close radiator valves, and turn down your thermostat so your heater is not working during this time. Remember to put thermostat back up when the sun stops shining into the room.
o To keep the heat in your apartment at night, close your blinds at curtains.
Always keep in mind that closing blinds and curtains can lead to water to form on windows in the form of condensation. This is a problem because the window frames and surrounding surfaces can get wet and damaged. This leads to mold to begin growing in the window frames and surfaces, and can eventually threaten the tenant’s health. One good way to avoid this problem with condensation is to wipe up any Sonavel water as soon as you see them on the window, and ensure you don’t leave your curtains closed for long periods of time. Also remember running your kitchen and bathroom fans longer can help the situation. Finally, if the condensation problem continues on your windows, it safe to keep the curtains open until the problem is solved, particularly if you want to avoid mold growing in your home.
Keep the Heat in During the Winter
Some people think opening up windows in the winter when it gets too cold is a smart way to adjust temperature without working the heating system. However, the heat you are allowing to leave your house is heat YOU HAVE PAID FOR! Also, with the cold air coming in, the heater begins to work harder. So best practice when it is too hot in the house, go ahead and turn off your thermostat and wait for the temperature to adjust accordingly.
One problem that could be causing your home to be extra hot during the winter is the overheating that may occur from the sunshine coming into certain rooms in your home. Best practice here is to close your drapes or blinds in the rooms that are being overheated. Living in a building may mean you are sharing a central boiler, in which case you can alert management your unit is too warm. This will lead management to adjust the boiler controls or provide you with more information on how you can adjust your heating system to reduce the heat in your home.
Dealing with the Heat in the Summer
During the summer months of the year, the best way to keep your home cool is to keep the blinds and curtains closed. During the day, the hot humid air coming into your home through an open window can have a negative effect on your desired temperature. So on hot humid days, keeping the windows closed would actually help. Cooler air is more apparent in the early morning, evening, and night times, so leaving your windows open during then would help with achieving desired temperatures