There’s only one planet earth, so we may as well take good care of it. Not just for this generation, but for our children, and our children’s children. We can all work together to ensure we give back to the planet that gives us so much.

One important way to reduce our carbon footprint is by limiting how much energy we consume at home. Today, many consider building Net-Zero homes: dwellings which produce as much energy as they consume every year.

What is a Net-Zero home?

It pays to give back to mother nature by living greener, a true “give and take”. Net-Zero homes use renewable energy sources like solar or geothermal systems to provide an energy source to power heating, cooling, lighting, hot water components, and appliances.

Net-Zero homes are engineered to reduce energy loss from windows, to increase insulation in your walls and roof, and to provide peak performing heating and cooling systems. Net-Zero homes are constructed above standards and reduce energy consumption by up to 80 per cent.

These dwellings are a larger cost to the homeowner up front, but the investment pays for itself down the road. In a Net-Zero home, utility bills shrink astronomically. In due time, those savings will help the upgrade pay for itself. With energy costs continuing to rise, it’s comforting to know you can reduce your bills by being less reliant on utilities.

No longer will you have to worry about your home being as cold as the Arctic in the basement, or the Sahara Desert on the top floor. Thanks to upgrades like triple-pane windows and additional insulation, temperatures will be more consistent throughout your home.

And forget about those pesky drafts from windows or doors because in a Net-Zero build, air leaks are non-existent and there’s an airtight seal from top to bottom in the house.

According to the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, space heating can account for up to half of all energy consumption in a traditional home. On the other hand, a Net-Zero home only uses 25 percent of its energy consumption on heating.

You can always breathe easier inside a Net-Zero home thanks to superior air quality. Fresh air systems remove allergens like dust, pollen and outdoor air pollution to provide the very best air for your family.

How can I renovate my home to be more energy efficient?

If a Net-Zero new build isn’t in the cards for you yet, why not consider renovating your existing home to be more energy efficient? By starting with a full house energy audit, you can determine which renovations may be feasible for your home. Pioneer Craftsmen, your local Kitchener-Waterloo renovation company, can show you the benefits of living greener.

Many factors come into play when renovating an existing house to net zero: house construction type, orientation, building size and much more will affect the likelihood of renovating to net zero. However, all homes can increase their energy efficiency. The planning stage of a renovation is the perfect time to be thinking about energy efficiency and this is when an energy advisor comes into play. An energy advisor will work closely with renovation contractor and the homeowner to generate a path to net zero that can be executed over time. Pioneer can recommend an energy advisor or work with your own. The most important thing is that you have a trusted team that listens to your needs, wants and goals.

In the long run, it pays to make your home as energy efficient as possible. With federal funding like the Canada Greener Homes Grant, you can receive up to $5,000 towards energy efficient retrofits to your home, and up to $600 towards an EnerGuide evaluation.

For bigger renovations, the Canada Greener Homes Loan offers up to $40,000 in interest-free loans towards eligible installations and products. Solar panels, insulation and heat pumps are some options available in a retrofit or renovation.

Those 20-year-old windows or that 15-year-old furnace may be the best plan of action to upgrade first on your path to becoming Net-Zero. Any upgrade, renovation or retrofit should be considered beforehand with help from a home renovation contractor like Pioneer Craftsmen.

Pioneer Craftsmen knows what supreme comfort looks and feels like

With 70 years of experience, we know what a comfortable home looks and feels like. We also know what it takes to make your home greener. From the initial concept, to the design, to the execution, and the final unveiling, we work hand-in-hand with homeowners to make your vision come to life.

Why not get ahead of the curve? Energy Efficiency standards are becoming a part of building codes in the future, and by making your house more energy efficient now, you can live greener and breathe easier.

Speak to Pioneer about your custom renovation today. We provide high-quality home renovations in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph. Always accountable, always respectful, always reputable. The quality of our craftsmanship speaks for itself.

Going green can be easier than you think! With guidance from a reliable renovation company like Pioneer Craftsmen, become the hero of your neighbourhood.

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