Buying or building a house / Guides

Is EPS foam eco-friendly? Exterior home insulation rigid foam panels
Insulation and soundproofing

Does plastic foam or Styrofoam insulation have a place in green building?

...an repackage as ‘sustainable building guidance’, and that’s where people get talked into silly things like using plants as air filters or buying magic insulating paint . That won’t happen here. As a global community, all we can do to protect ourselves from runaway climate change is to weigh all the variables and make...

Finished basements can lead to mold and mildew
Healthy indoor air quality

Why are basements moldy? How to fix or Prevent a Moldy Basement

...an even and total protection. SPUF has a high R value per inch, acts as an air barrier and a vapour barrier. However, it has been known to shrink after application, leaving air gaps and a lack of thermal protection. Another downside to the original SPUF is that some blowing agents have a high global warming potential...

High efficiency fireplaces and how to choose one
Wood stove and biomass heat

Choosing the right wood-burning stove or fireplace for both heat output & the environment

...ather than clear-cutting a portion of a forest will have a lower environmental impact. While we found no truly reliable claims on the net, consensus seems to be that you can sustainably harvest between 1/2 and 1 face cord* a year from an acre of land, more if you include deadfall. *A 'face cord' (or just a 'cord') is...

Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? How to choose which is Best for Homes
Wall assemblies - renovation

Should I be renovating my home or tearing it down & rebuilding?

...ain floor, so you'd need to factor space for that in your new plans. Radon protection as well as radiant floor heating can be done at this time also. If the floor joists are in reasonable condition and you want to keep using the crawlspace for storage and mechanical systems, see our page on how to insulate crawlspace...

How to choose Triple pane, high performance windows
Windows and doors

Our top tips for buying high-performance windows

...aved in heat transfer will be lost through air leakage. • Be careful to select glazing with a high coefficient of visible transmittance [VT] and ensure that glazing on all orientations have a matching colour or tint. A high VT means more daylight is available which can save energy for artificial light and its associa...

Better Basement Design on basement walls prevents mold and midlew
Healthy indoor air quality

Basement renovations: How to prevent mold when finishing basements

...an even and total protection. SPUF has a high R value per inch, acts as an air barrier and a vapour barrier. However, it has been known to shrink after application, leaving air gaps and a lack of thermal protection. Another downside to the original SPUF is that some blowing agents have a high global warming potential...

Solar panel installation
Solar photovoltaic

Ten questions to ask a solar panel contractor

...ady and able to offer up any information that makes you feel at ease with such an important financial investment. Do solar installers have a NABCEP certification? A certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners is not a prerequisite for declaring oneself a solar installer, and there ...

FSC certified wood carries the FSC certification labels
Wood and organic materials

All about FSC certified lumber & wood products - Why FSC certification is important

...and architects using certified wood and paper products from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certification standards can achieve a point in...

Condensation on windows leads to mold & mildew in homes, ERV & HRV systems help
Ventilation

Ventilation & air exchangers

...air. © Van EE The core of an HRV has small separated channels that air passes through, allowing incoming air to be preheated by exhaust air. There are no heating coils, you are simply operating fans, so they are relatively cheap to run. And you will certainly save money overall, as heating moist air eats up a l...

Dual axis solar tracker
Solar photovoltaic

Choosing between solar trackers and fixed solar panels mounts

...and location of a panel array: Average annual power consumption Geographical location - hours of sun exposure in a day Potential shade from nearby buildings or trees Typical local weather - average days of cloud coverage Whether the panel mount is fixed or operable There are tools available to any solar...

How to choose the best home EV charger or EVSE?
Lifestyle, location and commuting

EV home charging stations & How to decide which is the best EVSE for you

...ortable and all-weather EV chargers: You have an option between: hard-wired and permanently-mounted chargers, or portable units that can plug into a 240-volt receptacle on an exterior wall. Though a little less ‘clean’ looking and convenient at home, there are two advantages to portable EV chargers to consider – you ...