CMHC - Is Renovating in Your Near Future?
Canada Mortgae and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has the information you need to plan and carry out your renovation. From the planning stages to the final touches, and from replacing doors and windows to giving your kitchen or bathroom a facelift, CMHC can help.
Many homeowners suffer for years, living in houses that are cold, drafty or have high heating bills, especially on windy days during the heating season. The process of improving the energy efficiency of the entire building envelope can seem like an overwhelming task. An understanding of the principle that the house functions as a system (see the House as a System section) is critical for anyone undertaking a building envelope retrofit. Prioritizing the different aspects of the work and learning about viable retrofit techniques can help you to work through the many decisions that must be made.
To help you recognize problems and to plan an energy-efficient retrofit, consider these important areas:
- Assessing the building — the house may be cold, drafty and expensive to heat. A thorough assessment of the building envelope is critical and will help you to prioritize the different aspects of the work.
- Structural problems — there may be structural or water leakage problems. Any existing problems and damage must be repaired as part of the retrofit project.
- Building envelope components — the building envelope may be poorly insulated, leaky or energy inefficient. Understanding the options available for upgrading the various elements of the building envelope requires research or professional help.
- Moisture — there may be moisture problems in the existing house that must be identified and remedied. Retrofit work may increase humidity levels in the building.
- Heating and ventilation — inadequate and inefficient heating and ventilation may be symptoms of a poorly performing building envelope.
- Finishes — finishes may be damaged from moisture problems associated with poor building envelopes.
House as a System
A house is much more than just four walls and a roof — it's an interactive system made up of many components including the basic structure, heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, the external environment; and the occupants. Each component influences the performance of the entire system. A renovation provides an opportunity to improve how your house performs.
Retrofitting the building envelope often results in a better insulated, more airtight building that is easier to heat and more comfortable to live in.
For more information, please visit CMHC website www.cmhc.ca
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