Posted by genieSABRE on Oct 10, 2012
The Home Energy Makeover

The Home Energy Makeover

Want to slash your monthly bills in half? These simple improvements will save you thousands on electricity, gas and water.

Source: Hannif Highclass c/o Genie Sabre Realty Inc.
Publish:MY BLOG: Toronto Real Estate:

On average, homeowners spend close to $2,500 per year on electricity, water and gas, costs that are likely to rise in the coming years. In this article from genieSABRE, we learn about several easy and effective cost cutting solutions that everyone can put to work in the home.

Eight Strategies

In this report, we outline the eight most common home energy makeover homeowners can make. We hope you’ll get some ideas you can put into practice. Not only will you start seeing a payback almost immediately, you’ll also add to the long-term value of your home.

Programmable Thermostats

One of the most painless ways to cut your heating and air conditioning bill is to install a programmable thermostat, says Kim Pressnail, associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Toronto.

“It’s the easiest thing to install yourself.” And the payoff is fast. “For every degree in the winter you turn your thermostat down, you save about 5% on your heating bill,” he says. In the cool months, program the thermostat to drop by 3°C or 4°C when you aren’t home, and simply reverse the settings in the summer.

Air Sealing

It might surprise you that the most cost-effective solution in reducing your energy bills is the humble act of plugging air leaks. A surprising 30% to 40% of your heating or air conditioning is lost to air leakage.

Small gaps around wall joists, the foundation, windows, baseboards, the attic and wall sockets let air escape. They’re small, but they add up. Taken together you might have a hole the size of a basketball. Sealing leaks with weatherstripping and caulking can save a homeowner as much as $108 a year or about 2.9% on their energy bills.

Plugs and light switches in exterior walls can also allow air in, but they can be fixed with a simple $2 gasket from your local hardware store.
Insulating the attic hatch needs to be insulated with weatherstripping and a latch to keep it tightly closed and air-sealed.


If your house is prone to huge temperature swings, chances are you don’t have enough insulation.

You can quickly bring the insulation value up from R-20 to R-50 by blowing in some loose fill insulation on top of what’s already there. There are even do-it-yourself kits if you’re comfortable doing the work—it’s pretty easy for the average handyman.

Upgrading to R-50 could save a homeowner $175 a year, or about 6% of their energy use. Fully insulating the walls of your basement will also give you some noticeable savings. Most basement walls are only partially insulated at best, so even improving the insulation on those walls to a meager R-16 value will cut total energy use by about $130 a year.

If you’re thinking about doing some of the work yourself then pick up the free book Keeping the Heat In, available online from Natural Resources Canada.


Windows offer big potential energy savings, but the payoff may not be as large as you might think: It can take 25 years or longer to recoup your investment.

Quite simply, windows are expensive to replace compared with the cost to heat and cool your home. But if your windows are losing their insulating value and are due for replacement anyway, it’s worth spending the extra money for higher quality ones.

Homeowners should consider sealed, “low-E” argon-filled double-glazed units—or better—when installing new windows. Also consider thermal blinds as a stylish way to beef up your insulation.

Of course if you get new windows, you want to make sure they are installed properly and air-sealed. If they aren’t, it won’t matter what quality of window you put in.


Appliances account for 14% of energy use and are the third biggest draw on hydro bills. Upgrading all your appliances to Energy Star rated systems can cut that part of your bill by as much as 30%.

New Energy Star–rated Appliances like a fridge will save you $85, a dishwasher up to $50, and a washing machine $672. You’ll feel good about doing your part for the environment, plus you’ll have more money in your pocket for every single month you live in your home.

Air Conditioner

Keeping cool can be expensive, especially when the average homeowner keeps the thermostat set to a frosty 22°C. If your central air conditioning system is older than 15 years it might be time to replace it, says Walton. Older units tend to have an operating efficiency of 8 or 10 SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio. (You should be able to find this information printed on the AC unit.) A modern 14-SEER unit uses about 30% less electricity to operate


If your furnace was cranking out heat in your home when Titanic was playing in theatres, it’s time for an upgrade. Furnaces have come a long way in the past 15 years. Older furnaces operate at about 60% efficiency, which means for every dollar you spend about 40 cents goes straight up the chimney. “By replacing a conventional furnace with a high-efficiency one, homeowners can save up to $500 a year,” Also, remember to change the air filter in the furnace every three months to keep it at optimal performance.

Water Saving Devices

The truth is, there’s no financial incentive to conserve water—it’s so cheap that some municipalities don’t even charge for the stuff.

Reducing hot water is where the real savings come into play, says University of Toronto’s environmental engineering chair Bryan Karney. Try to restrict water use

mome energy makeover

Energy upgrade savings

Which energy-efficient home improvements will give you the most bang for the buck? MoneySense calculated the approximate cost and resulting savings for each project. Some give you an almost immediate payback, while others won’t pay off until several years in the future. However, it may still be worth shelling out a few extra bucks for an energy-efficient option if you’re planning to do the upgrades anyway.

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home improvements

REMEMBER: Real Estate

Home Owners: If, you already own a home – good for you!

May you be blessed with
warmth in your home,
love in your heart,
peace in your soul
and joy in your life.

However, if for any reasons you do intend to move due to upsizing, downsizing, moving to different town or ??? —
genieSABRE recommend you check out our main web site. You will not be disappointed!

Renters: New immigrant, 1st. Time Buyers Renters – its time to stop making your landlord rich.
genieSABRE FREE consultation, will help you & guide you through the whole process from finding the right home, to mortgage approvals, home inspection, lawyers etc Visit our main web, you will not be disappointed!

Real Estate Investors: Home ownership should be your 1st. priority. If you own your own home – Good for you. But now is the time to take that second step – Buying Rental Property for investment. Commercial, retail or home.
genieSABRE has extensive knowledge and experience in this field. As a developer of commercial /retail plazas (built 3 so far) and owners of residential rental homes, we can guide and advice you as to what is best for you according to your personal financial position.

Call: Hannif Highclass @ 416.444.4252


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