Homes and Condo Mississauga

Three questions to ask about a home’s energy efficiency before buying

I'm sure you can remember your grandmother's creaking, leaky, and draughty home when you visit came. Houses that were rebuilt several generations were not energy efficient.

Today houses are 50 percent more efficient than 20 years ago. Energy-efficient houses are not only good for the wallet, but also for the environment, because we all want to reduce our carbon footprint.

If you are looking for a new home, there are several options available when it comes to choosing a greener home. All GTA house builders must comply with the high standards laid down in the Ontario building code, which was amended in 2017 with strict energy efficiency requirements.

BILD members take their responsibility seriously when it comes to building energy-efficient homes. That is why they are committed to building communities that are environmentally friendly and healthy places to live that consume less energy.

Ask the seller when examining a new home for the following three questions: What have you done to give the building envelope more energy efficiently? How efficient is the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)? What is the EnerGuide classification of the devices (if supplied with the house)?

The casing of the house is the shell of the house, consisting of the cellar, the floor and the foundation, the above walls, the roof, insulation and the windows and doors. The envelope separates your indoor environment from the weather outside. To maintain your indoor environment, the envelope must regulate the flow of heat, air and moisture from the inside out.

You want to make sure that the house is well insulated, that the installed windows and doors keep the heat in the winter and keep your house cool in the summer. It is very important that the house is properly closed.

Make sure that the most energy efficient oven is installed and, if present, the same for the air conditioner. Our cold climate means heating your house for five to six months and heating is responsible for a remarkable 63 percent of the energy used in a typical Canadian house.

Many new homes contain appliances – washing machines and dryers, refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers. Washing machines and dryers are the largest users of electricity in a house with a gas stove and a boiler. We never switch off our fridges and consume the second largest amount of energy, followed by ovens, stoves and dishwashers.

When you search for energy efficient devices remember that EnerGuide allows consumers to compare different models based on a standard size, or a verified average of energy consumption. An Energy Star certified product is among the top 15 to 30 percent of its class for energy performance and is the hallmark of highly efficient products in Canada.

If buying a new home is not in your plans, you might consider a renovation of your existing home. Whether you are planning minor repairs or a big job, consider making green upgrades. You can save energy and money by making modest investments and small changes to your home that help you reduce your consumption and energy bills and add value to your home. For more information about hiring a contractor, consult our RenoMark website at

Remember, energy-efficient homes perform better. This translates directly into cost savings because better HVAC, doors, windows and insulation reduce energy while preserving the well-being of future generations.

It is the right thing to do – and it will also help you save money. [19659006] Dave Wilkes is President and CEO of the BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association), the voice of housing construction, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA. For the latest news from the industry and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, @bildgta, or visit

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