Climate zone / Guides

Frost Heave Prevention Helps Stop Frost Heaving Breaking up Home Foundations
New foundations and slab-on-grade

What causes Frost Heave? Preventing frost heaving is down to good foundation design

...climates Protecting homes and buildings in cold climates from structural damage caused by frost heave is essential for durability. In most parts of Canada and the northern United States, the ground freezes during the winter months to a depth of several feet. Such ground freezing can lead to heaving of buildings locat...

How to Insulate Exterior Walls from the Outside US Canada Ecohome
Walls and Roofs

The easiest way to insulate walls from the exterior in older homes

...climate zone will help decide on an appropriate amount of wall insulation for your home, whether you are in a heating or a cooling climate. Next, compile a short list of the types of insulation that best suit you by determining what your biggest concerns are. Consider some of the following: Cost, durability, fire-resis...

Shipping container homes, Good or Bad?
Architecture and plan design

Are shipping container houses environmentally friendly & good or bad to live in?

...climate, slugging it out through a Canadian or Northern US winter in a metal box may not be the wisest of moves, so your climate zone will considerably effect whether a shipping container home is good or bad for you... Five reasons why we aren't sold on this noble attempt at alternative tiny housing: 1. Energy ef...

Vapor retarder latex primer instead of polyethylene sheet
Air and vapour barriers

Replacing polyethylene vapour barriers with latex paint vapor control

...climates like Canada, for most of the year the vapour barrier should be on the inside of the insulation. In hot climates like the southern U.S. for example, it should be installed on the outside of the insulation. In both cases, the vapour barrier is tasked with preventing warm, humid air from shedding its moisture a...

Comparing ground source and air source heat pumps
Heating and cooling

Heat Pumps: Ground source geothermal GSHP or air source ASHP, which one is best for heating a home?

...climate for Canada. Model simulations for five major Canadian cities showed that both technologies can perform well in the Canadian climate and should also perform well across the colder States of the USA. Another thing to try if in a cold climate zone is a DIY solar air heater - see here . Temperatures affect heat p...

Building Green Homes on a Budget is Possible - Our top tips
Planning and Design

Top tips for planning and building a green home on a budget

...climate this might be an advantage, but in a colder climate this basically deprives any future home from any possible passive solar heating - so should be considered suboptimal. Distance from work, schools, shops and civilization. If serious about reducing your carbon footprint and living in a truly green home - the ...

Slab-on-grade construction technical guide
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade technical guide

...climate zone a basement foundation counts on being buried at depths of between four and five feet to protect the footing and basement floor from freezing temperatures. Since this creates additional floor area underground, it is a natural desire to claim that space, and so born is the basement rec room or man-cave - and...

How to Choose between an HRV and ERV system

Choosing between an HRV and an ERV

...climate zone, it meant that cold, dry winter air would need to be warmed as well as humidified having found it's way into a house - otherwise known as drafts, while hot and humid air would enter in the summer whether you wanted it or not. Nowadays, in the name of energy efficiency, houses are built to much higher sta...

Earthship in Taos, New Mexico, shame they don't work in cold climates
Concept and design

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

...climates: New Mexico has a mild, arid/semi-arid climate, which is characterized by light precipitation, low-relative humidity and an abundance of sunshine, so there is no better place to build an Earthship. The website still claims they are 'comfortable in all climates' and there is endless talk about how they are ...

How to fix noisy baseboard heaters
Heating and cooling

Fixing noisy baseboard heaters, How to stop that clicking easily !

...climate zones , we would always suggest investing in better insulation first, and carrying out an energy audit involving a blower door test before installing a full house of baseboard heaters. That said, if the home is reasonably efficient, then electric heating can still be a good choice . If the electricity they co...

Crawlspace radon barrier installation for radon mitigation
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Removing radon gas from basements and crawlspaces

...climate zone you would direct the exhaust vent from your radon stack straight out through the rim joist (as seen in the adjacent images), and there are several benefits to this location for all climate zones – it is a quicker install with less materials required, you avoid having to puncture your roofing materials and ...