Practical ideas to make your new or existing home more energy efficient

Hermann Thoene

One of the biggest contributions to our economical footprint are our homes. They use a lot of energy for heating, lighting, hot water and much more.

I like to share some practical and cost efficient ways to make existing and new homes more energy efficient. Some of these ideas are based on my own experience, some are based on literature.

  • Air tightness and insulation, how can you reduce “leakage” of energy from your home?
    Heating systems:
  • What can you do with an existing heating system to save energy?
  • What’s the best heating system for new homes?
  • Heating with wood: Does it make ecological and economical sense? Pro’s, Con’s and practical experience
  • Add renewable / alternative energy resources. What makes (financial) sense on Vancouver Island? Solar Voltaic, Solar hot water, heat pumps, geothermal heating systems?
  • Energy efficient appliances — which ones to replace first? Washer, dryer, stove, fridge, freezer, TV???
  • Lighting: Should we really all switch to CFL’s? What are the disadvantages, what are better alternatives?
  • Home automation systems: Expensive gadget for geeks and millionaires, or can it be a practical tool to increase safety and reduce energy usage?

(I will reduce this list and just pick the most interesting points)

About Hermann Thoene:

Hermann Thoene is an environmentally conscious person, who immigrated to Victoria from Germany in 2000. For nearly 20 years he worked in various positions for a world leading computer company. In 2009 he switched to a completely different task and founded Vanisle Ecolog Homes to design and supply a new style of log homes based on square timbers. In 2011 Hermann became a Certified Energy Advisor with Natural Resources Canada, which enabled him to advice customers on energy efficiency of homes, and to analyze and model the energy performance of homes.

2012 IdeaWave