Generation / Guides

What is a heat pump
Heat pumps, geothermal and AC

Heat pumps: what they are and how they work

...generation, so that the heat pump can operate at a more optimal efficiency since less capacity would be required. Also, with the right amount of insulation and a properly designed home for passive solar heat gains, it is even possible to safely heat your home during the coldest days of winter with only a heat pump. T...

Painting with zero VOC paint from Benjamin Moore
Paints, finishes and natural coatings

Choosing safe paints

...generation of biodegradable paint stripper is now entering the market, so if that is your preferred method, you may be able to find a safe alternative for paint removal. Storing Old Paint Cans: If you go into any basement, you will probably find at least one, if not many half-full cans of paint. Even if your baseme...

Why Electric Heating Systems are Best for Sustainable Homes
Heating with electricity

Heating with Electricity - The Best Choice for High Efficiency & Zero Energy Homes?

...generation from renewable energy sources will rise from 17% in 2019 and 20% in 2020, to 22% in 2021. So heating with electricity is really the only sustainable option at this point as we continue to migrate towards more renewable energy. Now you know more about electric home heating, learn more about sustaina...

Moving to the Countryside - How to make it Work
Lifestyle, location and commuting

Moving to the countryside? Here's how that can work...

...Generation Z young adults, Millennials, and residents of cities. The overall desire is to move outside urban cores to less densely populated areas. This is a direct reflection of the changing dynamics in urban cores, as we see closed theatres and music venues, limited seating in restaurants, and a preponderance of pe...

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?

...generation and more towards heat retention; meaning, spending more on insulation can result in needing to spend less on heating infrastructure (not to mention significant operational savings as well). Extra insulation is always the route we would suggest first, and which types of insulation, how much, and where to use ...

Correctly installed Triple pane south facing windows on Ecohome's Demo House
Windows and doors

Installing doors & windows for the best performance in high efficiency homes, LEED & Passive House

...generation suspended-film insulating-glass glazing units and windows . Window flashing detail in a high-performance home with exterior insulation © Glen Sakuth Angled bottom sills: by building your sills on a slight angle out, any water that finds its way in will be directed to the exterior. Window flashing...

When should you replace windows
Windows and doors

When should you replace old windows?

...generation suspended-film insulating-glass windows or glazing units .. A truly accurate assessent of whether or not you should replace windows would take a quote of the windows you want and possibly energy modeling of your existing winodws and potential new ones to see how far out your payback period would be be, but...

How to insulate basements properly
Insulation and soundproofing

Best practices for basement insulation in new home construction

...generation. Additional costs for insulation are often negated by monthly savings, and a well designed and insulated basement will have a much longer service life without repair. One of the most commonly overlooked benefits of extreme insulation in homes is heat security, as extreme weather events in cold months routi...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED Gold home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog part 6 - energy modeling projections and real performance

...generation and here see post 4 all about off-grid heating systems and for part 5, all about off-grid home appliances, mechanical & other systems, see here We didn't originally plan to do any formal energy modeling for our home. It only came about because of our relatively last-minute decision to seek LEED certificati...

The LEED rating system
LEED Homes

The LEED rating system

...generation features. Given that this is where the energy performance of your home is determined, it is also where the greatest amount of points can be achieved. Materials & Resources (16 points) During both construction and operation, buildings generate a lot of waste and use large quantities of materials and natur...

Drumi the foot pedalled washing machine that makes laundry off-grid oh
Appliances

This foot pedalled washing machine doesn't need electricity and uses very little water.

A typical washing machine can use up to 87 litres of water per load, not to mention its ability to eat up electricity. An efficient Energy Star machine can cut water usage to about 49 litres per load and significantly cut energy usage, but this, the Drumi, will not only wash your clothes without using electricty, it a...