We’re big believers in a pro-active approach here. Look at it this way – it’s better to pay a small amount now for repairs than it is to wait and pay big bucks to repair the issue and all the damage that was caused, right?
Without further ado, here are our eco-friendly tips when getting your home ready for spring.
1. Hire a Roof Inspector
A home owners’ number one enemy is leaks. You need to cut those leaks off at the pass before they lead to costly damages that will eat into your summer craft beer budget. But it’s not just out and out leaks that cause damage — it’s any kind of dampness and moisture. That’s why when getting your home ready for spring, the spring roof inspection is a home owner’s BFF.
Here’s why this is a green issue. The whole wet, leaky, damp attic thing is like a vicious circle. Leaks can cause all kinds of damage including rot, which can damage the structure of your roof as well as your insulation, which can allow warm and/or cold air to escape and/or come into your home, which costs a fortune in wasted energy consumption, but can also lead to moisture and condensation issues, which can lead to further rot as well as dreaded mould and mildew which affects the air quality of your home which can lead to all kinds of health issues including asthma, allergies and rashes. You get the picture.
So, an annual spring inspection keeps you ahead of the game and makes sure proper insulation is there to reduce moisture and condensation as well as energy wastage. It also reduces the chances of leaks caused by ice damns that form when warm air escapes from your poorly insulated roof. You see where we’re going with this vicious circle thing right?
As a bonus, good insulation reduces noise levels – a big plus in the city.
2. Let the Sun Shine!
Once daylight savings time hits, a big part of getting your home ready for spring is taking advantage of the longer days. While the weather is still cool, crack open the curtains to use natural light and allow the sun to heat those south-facing rooms naturally. The flip side is if the sun is heating up those south-facing rooms, it can cost a fortune to keep your home cooler in the summer. It’s time to get some snazzy new blinds or window coverings to keep your home cooler once the summer hits.
3. Reduce Solar Heating Naturally
For Torontonians, spring is like a call to your local garden centre even when the tulips have barely broken through the flower beds. While you’re there why not get ideas for a shading plan to help keep your home cooler when summer arrives? This eco-friendly cooling solution allows you to identify spots on your property that could use a little shade to reduce solar heating in your home. Although most plantings will take some years to provide shade completely, a home that sits in direct sunlight can reduce energy bills from 15 to 50 percent with a shade plan! That’s a lot of craft beer!
4. AC Spring Service Call
How many times have we sweated through that early May heat wave only to have it end just before the May 24 weekend when we planned our barbecues? The point here is that we all know that warmth is going to hit much sooner than we ever imagine yet we usually don’t do much to prep for it. When getting your home ready for spring, you need to call your local air conditioning experts and have them do a quick maintenance call for your AC. This will help keep your unit running efficiently and be less of a drain on local hydro when the inevitable heat wave hits.
You can also check for drafts around windows, doors and duct work and use proper insulation to improve the effectiveness of your HVAC system while making your home eco-friendly.
5. Energy Drains and Water Wasters
Getting your home ready for spring should also include some quick checks for common energy drains and water wasters such as:
- Switching to energy efficient bulbs such as LED and CFL for both your indoor and outdoor lights
- Replacing your furnace filters so you are ready for cold spells
- Checking the main vent for your dryer so it doesn’t have to work so hard
- A fireplace and chimney cleaning to reduce the amount of by-products that cause air pollution
- Checking your outdoor faucets for signs of damage and leaks to avoid wasting water (this also cuts down on erosion!)
6. Rain Barrel Fun
Speaking of wasting water, consider placing a rain barrel in your backyard to collect rainwater from your roof. A rain barrel will collect and store free water for watering your garden, cleaning patio furniture or an eco-friendly way to wash your car! Rainwater is better for your garden as it is warm, natural and free of chlorine.
A rain barrel also reduces the amount of water that can seep into your basement AND can also reduce flooding risks as it collects water on your property instead of shooting down to the sewers. Run off from your home sends more pollution into the sewers so by collecting rainwater you actually reduce the amount of water the city has to clean which saves money for our communities. It’s almost crazy not to get a rain barrel!
Here’s some great info about “greening your grounds”
7. Ontario Rebates for Energy Efficient Renos
Last on the list when getting your home ready for spring is considering energy-saving renovations. Visit https://greenon.ca/ and look for an approved contractor that qualifies under the Green Ontario Refund Plan to get rebates on upgrades such as windows and new insulation. You can also call 1-888-728-8444 or email info@GreenON.ca for advice on how to save money on your energy bill and how to qualify for any of their rebate plans.
We recommend using Homestars to find the local experts to help you care for your home. The reviews are there to help you avoid choosing a dud and you can learn more about the services they offer so you get more bang for your home maintenance loonie! We also have a vetted list of the top home professionals in the city so just ask!