Repairs, Maintenance and Renovations
From the Volume 15, Spring 2023 issue of the CCI GHC Condo News Magazine
Now that most of our Canadian winter has elapsed, we get to reflect on where we felt the cold, or when the most frost developed on the windows, and why the snow always melted along the eaves. Winter weather tells us something about how and where our buildings consume energy. It also hints at where and what we need to do to help reduce energy consumption, costs, and impacts. Here are 10 tips that can help make low-rise and townhouse buildings more energy efficient:
1. Insulation: Proper insulation can significantly reduce the amount of energy required to heat or cool a building. Adding insulation to walls, attics, and floor overhangs can help maintain consistent comfortable indoor temperatures and reduce the workload on your HVAC system.
2. Windows: Energy-efficient windows can help reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Consider installing double-pane or triple-pane windows with low-emissivity coatings to help regulate inside temperatures and reduce the fading effects of UV rays on interior finishes.
3. Lighting: Switching to LED (light emitting diode) bulbs can help reduce energy consumption. LED bulbs are more energy-efficient and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
4. HVAC system: Upgrading to a more energy-efficient HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) system can help reduce your energy consumption. Some air- and ground-source heat pumps can now dramatically offset paid-for fuel costs by using the air and ground around us to exchange heat.
5. Thermostats: Consider installing a programmable thermostat to control the temperature when the building is unoccupied. Motion activated thermostats can also help ensure that heating and cooling is not being used when no one is home.
6. Solar Panels: Installing solar panels can help generate renewable energy for your building, which can reduce your electricity costs.
7. Water conservation: Low-flow showerheads and faucets, as well as efficient toilets, can help reduce water consumption.
8. Roof: Consider using a cool reflective roof material that reflects more solar energy than it absorbs. This can help reduce the amount of energy required to cool the building, which can be significant because of time-of-use rate plans in most electricity jurisdictions.
9. Ventilation: Proper ventilation can help improve indoor air quality and reduce the workload on your HVAC system. Consider installing energy-efficient ventilation systems. Some bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans can detect humidity build-up and automatically turn on when they are needed to help minimize interior and concealed moisture damage.
10. Energy-efficient appliances: Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances can help reduce your energy consumption. Look for appliances with an Energy Star rating.
11. Maintenance: Regular maintenance of your building’s systems can help ensure they are running efficiently. This includes cleaning and replacing filters in HVAC systems, sealing air leaks, and checking for water leaks.
By implementing these engineering tips, you can make your home more energy-efficient, which can help reduce your energy bills and environmental impact.
Jon Juffs, C.E.T., LCCI, Director, Facility Assessment and Restoration
Jon Juffs is the Director, Facility Assessment and Restoration, at McIntosh Perry. His team conducts, delivers, and analyzes many reserve fund studies, pre-performance audits, performance audits, failure investigations, restoration projects, and property condition assessments. Jon’s career is dedicated to the assessment and rehabilitation of occupied buildings.
He is a member of OACETT, OIQS, ACMO, and CCI who awarded the ACCI, now the LCCI, designation to him in 2005.
In 2006, Jon co-authored the book “Reserve Fund Essentials”, a very tell-it-like-it-is resource for Owners, Managers, and Professionals involved with capital repair planning in co-owned property environments. Jon was also the co-author of a research paper for the Canadian Institute of Actuaries “Longevity of Infrastructure – Reserving and Risk Management in Condominium Maintenance in Canada”.
He can be reached at email@example.com or (286) 319-3144.
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