Thursday, September 10, 2009

Helpful hints for insulation in Kelowna


Insulation is the biggest way to reduce the energy use and environmental impact of your home. As an added bonus, improving the insulation of your home will lower the energy bills! So stop throwing your money away, and follow these tips for green insulation.

Quick tips to insulate your home:

Wrap your boiler

Wrap your water boiler in an insulating blanket. The better the insulating material, the more energy you’ll save. Cork and wool are good natural materials that can be used as insulators.

Seal leaks

The tighter the seals in your home, the less energy you’ll need to keep it warm. Identify and seal air links around chimneys, window frames, and openings for plumbing and electrics.

Close the curtains

Keep the curtains closed at night and make sure you don't just heat the space between the curtains and the window. You can install a radiator shelf to deflect heat past the curtains into the room. Bigger projects to insulate your home

Attic Insulation

Attics should have approximately 150mm of insulation, but older homes usually don’t. For example, in the home we just purchased built in 1955, we found only 25mm of insulation, which means heat (and money) have been pouring out of our roof for decades! In many houses over 15 years old, you will find that the depth of existing insulation is quite small as old insulation settles over time and becomes much less effective. If your home is older, adding additional insulation is one of the best Green projects you can do! Insulating your attic is a relatively easy project, especially if you use a natural insulation product that doesn’t require as much protective clothing.

Wall Insulation

The best time to add insulation to walls is when you’re making other renovations.

for the full article click here

Terry Laurin
“Helping you become Energy Efficient”

For a review of your green custom home build call:

Joe Wackerbauer
Okanagan Custom Homes
250- 809-9519

Ways to heat your water

Ways to heat your water by John Thomson

Water heating options

Where you live, as well as the life style you lead, the number of people in your household, and where you'll put the water heating system, you'll need to factor these realities in if you're going to purchase a new hot water system, or getting a back up system.

Having this basic information at hand, will ensure you'll get hot water every day of the year, when you want and however much you need - at the best cost possible. This will also help you decide, if you should stick to the traditional water heating system you've used or if you'll step out of the box and try an alternate water heating system.

Here's a short list of the different water heating systems, available today

Electric hot water tank

This system uses heating elements that are located at the topmost and bottom parts of your tank. Because they don't need vents, you can install or put them wherever you feel is the best location. For example in Canada many R-2000 energy saving homes have this water heating system. Induced draft gas hot water tanks

This heating system has a fan that's found at the top of the tank itself. What the fan does is to induce movement of the combustion gases to go through a sealed plastic pipe and then out the sidewall of the house. You'll find that a lot of these units use combustion and dilution air found inside the house. However, due to the combustion gas exhaust fan pressure; you won't have to worry about the backdrafting combustion gas spillage. You'll need to buy a condensing furnace that works well with this kind of heating system. Natural draft gas hot water tanks

These are inexpensive units, which come with a naturally aspirating burner and draft hood, which is connected to a vertical chimney vent. However, this particular equipment more prone is more subject to combustion gas spillage compared to the other models mentioned, here, so you'll need to make sure you have a furnace that works well with this equipment. Another factor you'll need to think about is, if you live in an highly energy efficient home. These homes experience a higher degree of air tightness, so it's not advisable to install a unit of this kind.

Direct vent gas hot water tanks

As stated a direct vent or sealed combustion water carries combustion air in from the outside, while venting the combustion gases out through a single concentric pipe. As there is no interconnection between the burner and house air, they are spillage resistant and work very well in the more closely sealed Homes.

Tankless water heater

You could purchase an instantaneous water heater or tankless water heater, which as its name indicates provides hot water, without the aid of storage tank. You can choose either a gas or electricity driven unit. In tankless water heaters, temperate water runs through a pipe into the unit, and then either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water.

Solar Units

Or you could try a solar powered heating water system. Solar heaters derive their power from the sun's energy, and channel the heat to water.

You can purchase a reliable solar heater and use this as your main source for heating water. Or you can decide to use this unit as the back up system. If so, then select a solar heater, which allows you to be the back up for either electric or gas water heater.

Take your time to do research on this system - find out the differences between the different water heating systems - so you can save on money, your time and resource. Not only that but the right water heater for your home will mean a lot of difference on whether you'll have hot water when you need it, in the amount, you want to use the water heater to produce.

About the Author
John Thomson is webmaster at where heating related information is a click away. Easily find patio heater and tankless water heater resources at

For a review of your ustom home build call:

Joe Wackerbauer
Okanagan Custom Homes
250- 809-9519

Built Green General Contractor