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8 Easy Weekend Projects: Green Home Energy Solutions G S

Jen Atkinson, Director of Operations

Established in 1998, Windfall Ecology Centre is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to building sustainable g communities. The creation of Windfall was inspired by a vision of healthy communities, where economic, social, social and en ironmental environmental needs achieve balance through social innovation, community partnership, and community t hi d it action.

Windfall Ecology Centre is known for innovation in design and integration of public policy i i i i bli li initiatives, sustainability planning and deployment of innovative programs.

About Windfall
International, National, and Local Initiatives Programs areas include: Energy Efficiency & Solar Services Conserve & Preserve Water Protection Sustainable Transportation Youth Internships & Education Repower Ontario Green Career Training Community Celebration & Outreach Member of Green Communities Canada

A Part of Your Community y

Green Communities are built on partnerships. A a community-based alliance, we receive th wide As it b d lli i the id support of municipalities, local businesses, utilities and citizens groups.

HomeComfort,Energysavings andaHealthierEnvironment d lh
A E An Energy A dit will Audit ill determine the energy performance of your home/building and help you find ways py y to remedy problems related to energy use.
Home Energy Evaluations Offering Expert Independent Advice


To G T Green Your Home Y H and Reduce Your Energy Bills Now!

#1 The Black Hole

Air Sealing between the inside and outside of a building are often the biggest sources of heat loss. drafts, loss Sometimes you can feel the drafts but they are often hidden. Have a blower door test done by an energy advisor or use a smoking incense stick to check for holes around any p p wire or hole y pipe, that enters or leaves the house. foam, Get a can of low-expansion foam put on a pair of rubber gloves and old clothes, read the directions and seal up those holes. Caulking can be use instead for smaller cracks and around joints.


The most important lesson is that you have to think about your House as a System.

Many forces at work y including:

Structure loading Wind and Weather Flow of Moisture Heating d Cooling H ti and C li


#2 Wall Outlets
y Have you ever noticed a cold breeze in your home coming from somewhere on a windy day? Air leaks in your home often travel through drafty outlets located in exterior ll walls. Install foam insulation gaskets in electrical outlets and light switches on your exterior walls.

#3 The Attic Hatch

The attic hatch is often forgotten as a source of air leakage. Make sure it fits snugly! leakage Caulk and weather strip the attic hatch. hatch Imagine this as an invisible chimney in your house, sucking up heated air. Caulking your hatch can reduce your heat loss by 5%. Keeps hot, moist air from collecting in the attic and contributing to ice damming too. g g

#4 Window Worries
Older windows are often big energy wasters. Assess your windows by looking at their condition. diti Imagine leaky doors and windows as holes in your walls. Caulk and weather-strip them. Put heat-sensitive plastic film on drafty windows. Extend the border to outside the window frame to block draft from under the frame. If window frames are rotting, it may be time to invest in new energy efficient windows.

#5 Hot Water Wonders

The heating of water accounts for approximately 15% of your total energy bill. That means if your utility bills ran $1,000 last year, you spent approximately $150 to heat water for your home. Set your hot water heater at 120 degrees F (54 degrees C). You need that temperature to kill bacteria in the water, but you dont need it any hotter. Measure the temperature using a cooking p g g thermometer under running water from the tap closest to the hot water heater. Insulate any exposed hot water pipes to reduce heat loss. Use a water tank blanket to insulate the tank and help keep the water hot a little longer.

#6 Furnace Facts
If youre on a furnace, especially oil, and havent had it cleaned in a few years, make an appointment right away. away Depending on individual situations, a dirty situations burner can be costing you an extra 10%. Change your filter! Install a programmable thermostat and set it to drop b 4d h t l S h by degrees when youre out or asleep. Such a drop can reduce your bill by 15% that will easily pay the cost of the new thermostat. Remember that on average it takes only 15 minutes to heat your home to a comfortable level. Turning your thermostat up above the desired level will not heat your house any faster.

#7 A Whole New Light

Consider this: Replacing one 60-watt incandescent bulb with a 15-watt compact fluorescent saves about 570 kilowatt hours kilowatt-hours of electricity over the life of the bulb at Hydro One rural rates of 5.5 cents/kilowatt-hour, thats approximately $31.35. Invest in compact fluorescent bulbs for your home. Invest in LED light bulbs for high-use areas. LED light g g g bulbs give off directional light, so the light goes where you aim it. They are closer to the color of daylight, which new studies suggest is good for staying alert. LED light bulbs can be used to replace standard fluorescent or halogen light bulbs. The bright, white LED light produced by LED Light Bulbs works especially well for task lighting and reading light. Use motion sensors and timers to limit energy use.

#8 Look for Green Alternatives

It is important to make wise choices in the products and materials that you choose to use in your home. home To create a healthy home, we must find ways to y , y reduce pollutants (also referred to as Volatile Organic Carbons). VOCs are released from a y , p g, variety of items inside the home, like carpeting, paints and cleaning products. Research and choose green options for: Cleaning products Insulation and building materials g Paints, flooring, fabrics


Windfall Ecology Centre

E-mail: Local: 905-727-0491

93A Industrial Parkway South Aurora, ON Located at Sheppards Bush