A deep energy retrofit seeks to improve the energy efficiency of an existing house through energy renovations and low-carbon upgrades. Deep retrofitting can focus on different areas of energy load - including energy efficient appliances, efficient heating and cooling, as well as improving the building envelope (insulation, windows and doors).
Here is an example of a deep energy retrofit to an existing home that was completed in Guelph in 2017. This retrofit focused on improving building insulation, promoting passive solar design and improving air tightness to reduce the home’s heating and cooling loads. Due to the design of the house and location of the windows, this house no longer requires an air conditioner to keep cool in the summer!
Renovations and retrofit upgrades can be taken a step further to make houses net zero. A net-zero home generates as much energy as it uses, so the net amount of energy it purchases from the local hydro company is zero. Find out more about net zero homes and their benefits by clicking here.
When completing renovations and retrofit upgrades, it is beneficial to consider the environmental impacts of the project. Sourcing local materials reduces transportation requirements and therefore lowers the projects embedded energy.
Greening Homes - a contractor in Toronto area - works to minimize the environmental impact of their renovations. Here is an example of a renovation this company completed in 2019. They consider and quantify the impact of everything on the job site from waste diversion, materials used and crew transportation.
We recently shared a few articles about home retrofits on the new My Wild Green Home platform. Check out the following articles for more ways to green your home:
- Intro to Renewable Energy - ways to support renewable energy and how you can add it to your home
- Fuel Switching - how to reduce your natural gas usage and alternative fuel sources for heating your home
- Home Retrofits - familiarize yourself with renewable energy options and check out Ontario-based contractors for your next project