Windows are basically a square inside a square. Leaks are usually found between the glass and the jam, between the jam and the frame and between the wall and the header, frame sill.

Windows are basically a square inside a square. Leaks are usually found between the glass and the jam, between the jam and the frame and between the wall and the header, frame sill.

Dyer: Use your COVID-19 time to fight climate change

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

The greatest tool we have to fight climate change in our personal lives is a home energy audit.

Most photovoltaic installers will recommend doing an energy audit first, before you put in solar panels. Why? The dollar you spend on energy efficiency goes much further than the money you spend on solar. Energy audits are also terrific investments. Ask yourself this: have you ever seen electricity rates go down?

READ MORE: Small business to get rebates for energy efficiency projects

I highly recommend getting a professional home energy audit, for two reasons. First, getting an audit from a Certified Energy Advisor (CEA) unlocks thousands of dollars of rebates from your electric utility — you will more than recoup the cost of the audit. Second, CEAs have the coolest tools — they have a blower door

CEAs have the coolest tools — they have a blower door

which lets them find even small leaks, and thermal cameras to spot insulation holes. If that wasn’t enough, currently there are $300 rebates on the audit itself at Better Homes BC.

Low income homes even qualify for a free energy audit.

https://egnitesustainability.ca/

Several Okanagan companies have added precautions but are still doing business during the COVID19 social distancing period. This includes:

READ MORE: Planning some projects for your pad?

Since we are all stuck at home, now might be a great time for a DIY home audit.

What is on my audit list? In order of importance:

10. Find the leaks

With incense or a wet finger, check for leaks around windows and doors. Caulk or seal. If you have windows, with frames check for leaks around the frame as well as the sashing. I have never had the hand strength to operate a caulking gun smoothly, but now there are better versions. Newborn Brothers 930 is $16 at Amazon and getting good reviews by women.

Note that energy recommendations have changed for windows: If you have old single pane windows with sashes made of hardwood, replacing them will only gain you 15% over windows+storm windows. In addition, new vinyl windows have an uncertain lifespan. This is important to know since replacing all the windows in your house is one of the most costly energy efficiency upgrades.

Recommendations have also changed for window-coverings. If you have a small opening at the top of a curtain and a small opening at the bottom, you have created a wind tunnel rather than an insulating curtain. The best insulation would be insulated cellular shades that hang inside the casing on side tracks.

  • If you are using fabric curtains the recommendations are:Hang the curtains as close as you can to the ceiling, or install a cornice.
  • The curtains should be as close to the window as is practicable and extend to either side of the window.
  • The curtains should extend to and touch the floor.

While the material matters, it’s more important to have a loose “seal” than to use highly insulating material and create a wind effect.

For doors you open and close regularly I’m fond of this product: https://tinyurl.com/stopdraft . Holikme door strips also gets good reviews: https://tinyurl.com/r2en8f5

9. Replace your light bulbs with LEDs

There’s a joke about cars and computers: If auto manufactures keep up with computing we’d be driving $25 cars that got 1000 miles to the gallon and crashed twice a day. Well, LED lights are the real miracle of the energy efficiency world: they use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs (and they never crash). Even doing a life cycle analysis, you should throw out old incandescents and replace them with LEDs.

Finding it hard to get the right color? Read “LED lights make me look bad”

8. Add a fan to your living room

Stand on a chair or ladder and check to see if the air near the ceiling is much hotter than the air at human-height. Do you have a ceiling fan? People get a little obsessed about whether the fan should blow up or down in each season. Don’t worry – either way you are mixing up the air, which is the goal. I like my fans blowing “up” in the winter because the breeze makes me feel cold. If you can’t have a ceiling fan, you can improve the situation by setting a small fan in a corner of the room facing up or towards the wall — the little eddy will help keep air circulating.

To be continued….

About Kristy Dyer:

Kristy Dyer has a background in art and physics and consulted for Silicon Valley clean energy firms before moving (happily!) to sunny Penticton. Comments to Kristy.Dyer+BP@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

A search is underway for David Borden in Oyama, since he was last seen Wednesday, June 16. (Contributed)
UPDATE: Missing Lake Country man found

Family thanks Facebook community for sharing photo of missing man

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Kelowna Fire Department. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Abandonded campfire results in Kelowna bushfire

The fire was measured at 20 feet by 20 feet in size and has been deemed not suspicious in nature

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

The Shuswap River in Enderby draws in people from near and far in the summer months of each year. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
RDNO ends lengthy attempt to bring new boating regulations to Shuswap River

With no consensus among stakeholders or remaining funds, the regional district is moving on

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

Most Read