Deep energy retrofits

Are you living in your future net-zero home?

Have you ever dreamed of living in a net-zero home? According to Peter Darlington, that dream might be closer than you think. In fact, you might already be living in your future net-zero home.

Darlington runs Solar Homes Inc., a Calgary company specializing in renovating existing homes into net-zero homes, which produce as much energy as they consume. Net-zero might seem like a remote, ambitious target, but Darlington insists it’s more attainable than you might think. In fact, his first green renovation project was on his own 1980s-era home.

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Diminutive design

Making the most of a small living space

Visitors to this year’s Calgary Fall Home Show might have come across a feature area called Small Space Living.

Designed by Rosalyn Lazaruk, owner of Wicket Blue Interiors, the 1,000-square-foot display showcased ways to optimize a smaller living space.

Lazaruk says people downsizing into a smaller house or condominium don’t have to give up style and livability just because they have less square footage.

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Sit back and relax

Tips for hot tub buying and ownership

Having a hot tub at your home is a great way to relax with family and friends, while also providing some real therapeutic benefits.

“It’s always been a health and wellness thing,” said Drew Christy, a client care specialist at Rocky Mountain Pools & Spas in Calgary.

Christy says the social aspect of owning a hot tub is often the first thing that appeals to people, but later they find themselves mostly using the spa for relaxation.

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Getting yourself in hot water

Choosing the best high-efficiency water heater

A typical hot water heater accounts for about one-fifth of the energy used in most Canadian homes.

Choosing the right hot water heater, therefore, can have a huge impact both financially and environmentally – especially as energy prices and carbon levies continue to rise.

Many of us still choose conventional, gas-fired hot water tanks because they’re cheapest – but are they really? The initial price of your hot water heater can represent as little as 12 per cent of the overall cost over its lifespan. The other 88 per cent is energy.

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