It’s part of the current climate: especially in wintertime! Constructors and renovators are increasingly leveraging advanced technologies to improve home energy efficiency while using eco-friendly materials that respect the environment and ensure the health and comfort of the house’s occupants. In fact, improved energy efficiency through better insulation and upgrades in the heating and ventilation systems will make all your family members a lot more comfortable at home!

This concern also happens to be shared by provincial governments, who offer green certification programs and financial assistance for renovations that help reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. As you can see, by taking a few steps to make your home more energy efficient, everyone wins!

Quebec Programs Helping to Finance Eco-Friendly Buildings and Renovations

In Quebec, for example, new Novoclimat certified homes, which require high energy performance, are eligible for financial assistance, in addition to reducing the homeowner’s energy costs by about 20%. Novoclimat certified houses also provide better indoor air quality with controlled temperature and humidity.

Owners of existing houses wishing to carry out eco-friendly renovations are not left out: Quebec also offers financial assistance for renovation work under its Rénoclimat program, which aims to improve energy efficiency.

LEED® Certification

The eligibility requirements for these programs, like all ecological construction standards, reflect the requirements of the LEED® program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). This internationally recognized rating system encourages the construction of energy efficient homes built with sustainably produced materials while also ensuring, among other factors, healthy indoor air quality and efficient use of water.

Our two recent blog articles on indoor and outdoor fall work already provided valuable tips to prevent air leakage and keep the heat inside (sealing cracks along the walls and foundation, caulking doors and windows, maintaining the roof and exterior siding in good condition, etc.), which are all essential to reduce your electricity bill and stay warm during the winter. But effective insulation remains the essential characteristic of an energy-efficient home.

Our Range of EPS Insulation Boards Compliant with Leed® Construction Standards

That’s why Polyform is proud of its range of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation boards, which are high-performance products with a very stable long-term insulation factor, unlike mineral wool, which will absorb water and moisture over time and collapse under the effect of gravity. In addition, EPS has a low ecological footprint, as it is 100% recyclable and its light weight reduces fuel use during transportation, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Since it contains no harmful gases, unlike polyurethane, for example, it promotes a healthy indoor environment. In fact, EPS insulation boards are such a wise choice for environmental protection that they can help gain points in a LEED® project. That’s a guarantee of quality that Polyform is proud of, as are our customers!

In addition, through our collection and recycling program of EPS waste, Polyform contributes directly to the sustainable and responsible economy by manufacturing insulation panels containing material from its own recycling plant. This ensures the completion of the EPS lifecycle, not to mention that it can be recycled again when buildings are demolished.

The choice of materials is certainly essential for the construction of an eco-responsible house, but several common consumer products also have a considerable impact. Did you know that ENERGY STAR® certified products can also significantly reduce your electricity consumption?

Look for the Energy Star® Logo on a Wide Range of Products

o   Household appliances: washers and dryers, dishwashers, freezers, microwave ovens, refrigerators, ranges, cooktops and ovens, etc.

o   Electronic equipment: audio and video equipment, computers and monitors, televisions, etc.

o   Heating, cooling and ventilation equipment: air conditioners, ventilation and ceiling fans, smart thermostats, dehumidifiers, gas fireplaces, furnaces, heat pumps, etc.

o   Water heaters

o   Windows, doors and skylights

o   Light bulbs and lighting fixtures

Our next article on the use of EPS in the bathroom will cover another important element of eco-responsible homes, namely water and air quality. While waiting for its publication and our other upcoming articles on good environmental practices, why not take a look around your house to see if it’s time to replace some of your appliances with ENERGY STAR® qualified products?

That’s another green gesture that will reduce your carbon footprint while sparing your bank account in the long term!