When homeowners think “green” it’s not always as in the colour of their home. More than ever homeowners are conscious of what kind of environmental footprint they – and their homes – leave on the planet. The market has responded with plenty of energy efficient options for every design and function involved in building or renovating a house.
Kelly Lunn, owner of EnCom Alternative Energy Solutions Ltd, says many homes from older Victorian styles to new homes can use energy efficient technology. Encom produces heating and hot water technologies that use renewable sources. While the turbines of wind farms may be the most recognizable sign of the increase in popularity of renewable energy, Lunn says for home projects, their solar thermal systems are more popular.
“Solar thermal has been and currently is far superior to wind when dealing with small-scale projects. Our solar thermal is lower cost, has government rebates and pays for itself in five to eight years, or less, after rebates. EnCom’s systems are CSA/energy star certified, and their clients include those needing residential domestic hot water, residential hot water and space heat combo systems, or large commercial applications. They also offer automatic clean fuel generators for propane or natural gas.
Lunn says one of the reasons why homeowners are more energy conscious is because of government rebates. Saving money is a huge incentive for homeowners
“The reality of ‘green’ options such as our solar thermal is they save money. Bottom line. Our clients tend to buy for this reason, not primarily to be green. However that is a nice benefit.”
There are also ways for homeowners to use environmentally friendly water systems. Those homeowners living in rural areas where wells are common are usually most concerned about the quality of their water. Darwin Seale a certified water specialist and general manager with Enviro Water Technologies says there are a number of potential problems with drinking water, particularly in rural areas.
“Most well water in Nova Scotia would not pass the Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines,” Seale says. “Iron, manganese, arsenic and acidic water would be the most common problems that we come across. Many people do not do regular testing of their water from an accredited lab. When we do this testing for them we find that some contaminants in their drinking water such as lead or copper are way over the limit.”
Seale also says more urban dwellers are looking for water treatment systems, including those that will remove chlorine and triohalomethanes (THMs) from their water. He adds that store-bought systems aren’t enough to remove contaminants.
Like other technologies, water treatment systems are becoming greener. Seale says during the past five to 10 years, those technologies have evolved to include options such as chemical-free iron treatment.
One of Enviro Water Technologies most popular products is its reverse osmosis drinking water system with options of a non-electric permeate pump making it 80% more efficient. That system will remove excess sodium from softened water.