And the cottage goes green, too

Think green homes are just trendy urban redevelopment projects? Think again.

Take one Ontario family’s new lakeside cottage, which achieved LEED for Homes Platinum certification. Although modestly sized (and not costly), the home utilized 30 new or different technologies and expert craftsmanship. The home itself doesn’t look space age, instead it utilizes reclaimed Ontario yellow brick to blend in with the heritage homes in the neighbourhood.read more

HRVs vs. ERVs

Some contractors may be hearing or reading mixed messages about the application of ERV technology vs. the older HRV technology. Much of this conversation centers around the appropriate technology for cold weather applications. A quick review is in order. The history of air exchangers, air to air heat exchangers or heat recovery ventilators in residential applications was very clearly tied to excessive winter moisture and window condensation problems as houses became more energy efficient and tighter. HRVs were developed specifically for the removal of moisture in R-2000 and other energy efficient housing programs. Introducing cold, dry fresh air to replace the high humidity exhaust air has the ability to quickly bring down the relative humidity in cold weather. For example, when the outside air is at 0 0C (32 0F) and 100% RH, just 30 L/s (60 CFM) of ventilation can remove approximately 15 liters (3.24 gallons) of water a day. Using an ERV with a latent effectiveness of 50% would cut this moisture removal capability in half.read more

HVAC Optimization: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Over the last 15 years, energy use in new homes has been reduced by nearly 40%. Voluntary, market-driven programs like ENERGY STAR®, Built Green and R-2000 have provided builders with the technology and construction practices needed to build more comfortable, healthy and efficient homes.

Today, we have building codes that require increased insulation values, mechanical efficiencies and air tightness. In many provinces a new home built today delivers the energy performance of R-2000 homes built in the early 2000’s.read more