Are you one of the many homeowners in Calgary who is paying outrageously high heating bills? If said yes, then you must read this!
A recent thermal imaging scan of homes in some parts of Calgary was completed by group of researchers at U of C witha a small-engine plane in the spring of 2012. The plane had flown at a low altitude and was used to see how homes in Calgary were conserving heat. This includes looking at how much heat is wasted in these homes and how temperatures can escape dramatically in different spots around the home including new windows and other places that link directly to outside conditions.
The report from this thermal scan suggests that people in Calgary are not preserving their heat as well as they should be. They are struggling with heat losses in many parts of their homes and are losing money as a result.
The University of Calgary concluded the study with showing how thermal imaging is able to help to see how greenhouse gas emissions move in different suburbs. The results were used to find details on where energy is more likely to escape as the house is being heated. The project was established by Geoffrey Hay at the university. He is a professor who wanted to know why his house in the suburbs kept getting cold.
As found in the study, there are gaps and leaks that can develop around homes and cause places to have less heat than expected. These gaps can include spaces around doors and windows in the home. This can occur even if there's plenty of insulation in the home and the furnace in the home is a high-efficiency model.
The big problem is that buildings in Calgary are not being built with proper insulation in mind. Windows are not caulked well and doors have gaps that are very visible. This has become a hassle as the process of heating buildings in Canada contributes to around a third of the country's greenhouse gas emissions.
The map used for creating the chart was designed to allow people to compare their homes to others in local neighbourhoods. Camera images are designed to show significant variances in how temperatures change in varying parts of the home. This includes finding cold air spaces at different parts of the home.
Around 38,000 single-family homes were analyzed and it was found that if these homes insulated their properties a little more, they could save around $4.9 million a year and cut out close to 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. More information on this study can be found online at saveheat.co.
Some other interesting things have been found in this study as well. Older neighbourhoods can do well with energy conservation just like newer ones. However, part of this comes from how the building codes have been utilized in many parts of Calgary at the time of construction, thus influencing these results. Also, there's a concern that modern homes in Calgary aren't as well-built as people want to believe.
Not every home in Calgary is scanned yet as the university is looking to complete this study over the entire city but additional funding is necessary for the project. The service that the university is creating for seeing what's around will be free to use.
So far only a few dozen communities on the west side of Calgary are completed. A few to mention: Cougar Ridge, Aspen Woods, and West Springs. For now, you can try to find your home at this website to see if it's loosing heat.
I am a licensed member of the Real Estate Council of Alberta since 2005 - proudly representing CIR REALTY, Calgary’s largest real estate brokerage. I enjoy keeping my readers up to date with real estate related information that they can easily understand and use for their own benefit. I welcome feedbacks and comments equally from first-time visitors to my blog, past clients and also from my fellow REALTOR® colleagues. Thanks for stopping by!