What makes a home green / Guides

Blown-in fiberglass attic insulation
Grants and incentives

2016 budget renovation tax credits are good news for everyone, homeowner or not

...as furnace and water heating systems replacement and insulation.​ Home Winterproofing and Weatherization programs that provide eligible low-income households with a free home assessment, water conservation measures, programmable thermostat and weatherization services (e.g., insulation and air sealing). Adaptive Thermos...

What is a heat pump
Heat pumps, geothermal and AC

Heat pumps: what they are and how they work

...at first, heat can actually be extracted from cold air and added to warmer air. To explain this in a more practical manner, let us step back a little bit to understand the basics. First of all, for the sake of an analogy, let’s imagine heat as a big body of water. Logically, water would flow from a higher place to a ...

HEPA filters & SMART Air Filters catch airborne dust, pollen, allergens, viruses
Healthy indoor air quality

Buying guide for home air filters in furnaces - HEPA, SMART or Regular?

...al air quality and an inefficient furnace Are air filters for furnaces washable? Some filters are washable such as those with lower MERV ratings (or no rating at all), so in general we would have to recommend against washing furnace and home air filters. The higher-rated air filters are paper-based, as that is th...

Resilient Homes, why they're important in dealing with Climate Change
Lifestyle and environment

Resilient Homes; Why we need to build to withstand climate change events

...Alaska, that above-average trend has extended for 105 days and counting. Fact: As the nation’s fastest-warming state, according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment Alaska is experiencing many of the effects of a heating planet. The state’s temperatures are rising at twice the global average rate, with spring te...

Low Carbon Concrete - Lowering the Carbon Footprint of Eco Homes
Concrete and masonry

Low-carbon concrete by CarbonCure Canada - lowering the carbon footprint of buildings

...ars in the quest for a lower carbon footprint in the built environment in the quest for zero carbon homes - and now a Canadian company may have the answer with a carbon-sequestering concrete system that appears to have the attributes ideal for general use across all building sectors, and that is gaining fans in the gre...

Photovoltaic solar panels
Renewable energy

Solar heating and energy generation

...at as long as your home stands. Solar thermal heating and solar water heaters This refers to using solar panels to absorb heat in a liquid (mix of glycol and water) and redistribute it throughout the house, through radiators or radiant floor heat. A system can work to heat your home, as well as pre-heating your d...

Off-grid home with solar PV & Battery backup
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Thinking about renewable home energy and a battery backup?

...an, material composition and lack of recyclability made installing one less of a noble gesture and more of a move towards self-preservation (not that there's anything terrible about that). This is actually changing now - lead/acid batteries still take a large share of the home battery market, but new lithium-ion batter...

Bathroom with refinished claw foot tub and barn board trim in a home c
Materials and resources

Finding environmentally friendly materials

...as it managed and harvested sustainably? Lifespan: How long before this product will need to be replaced? Impact on human health: Homes can be a toxic stew of glues, VOC’s, formaldehyde and other contaminants that aggravate and cause serious respiratory illnesses and other health effects. Many toxins can ea...

Are low-flow shower heads worth the money?
Bathrooms

Are low-flow shower heads worth the money?

...a 9.5 lpm and a high quality 6.6 lpm showerhead. So with comfort and cleanliness out of the way, let’s run the numbers. Calculations are based on the consumption of a family of four taking a daily shower for 10 minutes each at a temperature of 38 °C. This is an average (albeit decadent on a global scale) Canadian fam...

Detergent-free eco friendly Laundry balls
Cleaning and maintenance

Do Laundry balls work?

...As the Ecohome Network is considered a trusted source of green building and healthy home information , we often are asked by manufacturers (and some snake oil peddlers) to feature purported ‘eco-friendly’ products that are actually just greenwashing . I have heard of Soapnut DIY laundry soap as well as Tru-Earth Laundr...

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

...and exterior cladding. Cascadia Clips from Cascadia Windows in Vancouver are the biggest name in fiberglass thermal spacers you will find across Canada and the U.S. so the concept has in a way adopted the brand name, but there are others brands of wall insulation thermal spacers such as Armatherm Z Girt available, pi...