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NRCan develops policies and programs that enhance the contribution of the natural resources sector to the economy
and improve the quality of life for all Canadians.
-Electronics accounted for more than 20 percent of electricity in non-electrically heated homes.
-Space heating 63%
-Water Heating 17%
-Space Cooling 2%
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) promotes energy-efficient appliances with three tools:
1.Energy Efficient Regulation - which sets minimum energy performance standards.
2.The Energuide Label - which shows how much energy a specific product uses and how to read the label..
3.The Energy Star symbol - which identifies high efficient models
If you want to save energy, lower utility bills, and reduce the impact on the environment then energy efficient
products may be the answer. The Product Information Section at NRCan has information on over 70 products in a variety
of residential and commercial categories such as Appliances, Electronics, Lighting, Heating, Cooling, Office Equipment
and much more. There is even a Searchable Product List which you can compare products and find the most energy
efficient product for your specific needs. Natural Resources Canada(NRC) has also published an Online Calculator which
can calculate the lifetime costs based on an Energuide Rating.
Make sure you have a good look at the additional information under each Product Category some sections have
additional tools and information which you might find useful. Click on the highlighted/underlined text above to go directly
to the appropriate sections.
Residential Energy use in Canada by activity, 2010
Disclaimer: This information is provided for general information purposes only. Any reliance or action taken based on the
information, materials and techniques described are the responsibility of the user. Readers are advised to consult appropriate
professional resources to determine what is safe and suitable in their particular case. DASH Inspection Services assumes no
responsibility for any consequence arising from use of the information, materials and techniques described. Any reference to a
specific company is for general information only. I highly recommend you get a min of three quotes and do your homework.
Electromagnetic fields can be found in many areas such as, office equipment, wiring in our homes and workplace's, and
electric power facilities, such as substations, transmission lines and distribution lines.
National and international health agencies, including Health Canada and the World Health Organization, have concluded
that the scientific research does not demonstrate that EMFs cause or contribute to adverse health effects.
Some questions remain the subject of on-going research...this information was taken from Hydro One's EMF position
statement April 2008...Read more.
So your looking to convert from Electricity to Gas? But your just not sure if gas is the way to go? In most cases it
can be Safer (although there is an argument for gas and electricity safety, either way smoke and carbon monoxide
detectors are required, it's the law!), Eco-Friendly, Less Money to operate and some appliances use Less Parts
which may prolong the life, I found a short article by Rosemary Avance in Consumer Affairs online publication from
the US which compares gas appliances and for the most part would probably apply here in Canada.
Residential Energy Calculator
Still not sure which way to go Gas or Electricity? Then the Residential Energy Calculator may help. I found an
online calculator which may help you decide. Select your location, input some additional information and you will
get a break down comparing to Electricity, Propane, Fuel Oil. Make sure you read the fine print below before you
Gas and Electricity Providers
So you've decided to switch, now you need the gas. Since 2002, homeowners and businesses in Ontario have had
the ability to choose whether to purchase their energy (gas or electricity) from a competitive retail company, or to
obtain their energy from their local utility and pay the provincial regulated rate. Energyrates.ca can help, type in
your postal code, choose a service (gas or electricity) and you will get a list of providers as well as rates. Do you
want to see how your present rates compare to another provider then use this Bill Calculator from The Ontario
Gas Appliances - Installation
You should be aware that gas appliances do need gas lines to each individual appliance and a gas line to the
house (if you don't already have one). You will require a licensed HVAC contractor to help you with this, very
important you use a licensed HVAC contractor, don't mess with gas!. Union Gas has provided help locating
contractors or a contractor you want to use. To check if they are actually licensed check: Technical Standards and
Safety Authority (TSSA) and Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI).
Faulty Appliances - Repairmen Unplugged
Today appliances are more sophisticated, with more electronics, more features, fancy designs and just more
complicated to repair or improve. What do you really need in an appliance and if it does break down what will it
cost you!. Market Place posted an online article By Megan Griffith-Greene / Marketplace, CBC News Posted: Jan
09, 2015 its an interesting read and they also did a TV and online video Watch Repairmen Unplugged on Friday,
Jan. 9 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television or online.
Do your homework and make sure you use new regulation carbon monoxide and smoke
detectors....IT'S THE LAW!
Inspecting your home on a regular basis and following good maintenance practices is the best way to protect your
home which needs regular care and without it they will deteriorate - Protect Your Investment!
Maybe you don't have the time or expertise and don't really care to do it, fair enough, then hire somebody who
can. The Home Maintenance Manual will provide a guideline on what to check and when or what season.
I highly recommend that you learn more about your house, learn how to improve or replace some things. Things
like filter replacement, smoke/CO detector battery replacement, clearing leaves etc. Shouldn't be difficult to do.
You can even check out your neighbourhood Home Depot they have workshops, online how-to-do guides, project
guides and videos (make sure you look for a Home Depot in your area). You can even YouTub it. Just remember
be safe and don't undertake something beyond your skill level...if in doubt call a licensed specialist. I have to
recommend that you leave all Electrical, Plumbing and major improvements to licensed specialist. You may need a
permit so check.
Air Duct Cleaning
Should you clean your furnace air ducts? That is a question that is often asked. Some suggest cleaning air
ducts should be done on a regular basis while others suggest only cleaning air ducts only if needed. Should
you use chemicals or biocides in the process of cleaning or even a sealant? Who do I use that is reputable
and Certified and how can I tell if the job was done right?
Here is a detailed .pdf on "Should you have the air ducts cleaned in your home?" In this file you will find
answers to those questions above and much more information. Here is a link to the National Air Duct Cleaners
Association where you will find more information as well as an area where you can actually search
for a Certified Duct Cleaner in Canada or the US. I also found an article "Is Duct Cleaning Worth It?" from the
Toronto Star published Sunday March 31, 2013 by Jessica Mcdiarmid which you may find interesting to read.
It's that time of year again, the weather is nice, the snow is gone and you want to spend more time outside,
entertaining family, friends or just relaxing. Outdoor Decks are very popular feature of a home, I can't really give
you any specific numbers on how many decks are built in Ontario each year but out of the 4000 plus property
inspections I have performed over the last 13 years I would estimate a good 70-80% had a deck in one form or
another. And probably 50% of those buyers planned on improving on or rebuilding the deck.
Improperly built or old and damaged decks can be a serious safety issue. Loose or damaged guard rails, rotted
stairs, beams and or ledger/rim joist connections not properly attached or even rusted connections can all have
an impact on your safety.
Ontario and in some cases individual municipalities have Building codes and By-Laws which govern the building
and placement of out door decks. You must check with your specific municipalities requirements.
Generally in most cases a Building Permit is required if:
1. The deck is higher than 600mm or (1' 11") off the ground.
2. The deck is 10' x 10'.
A by-law may also be in place which governs the location the deck can be built, be sure to check your local
Refurbish/Maintenance of Decks
The National Association of Home Builders and Bank of America Home Equity did a Study of Life Expectancy of
Home Components (page 8) which estimated the life expectancy of a deck is approx 20 years maybe longer with
proper maintenance and in dry regions. Do you maintain your deck or do you build a new deck. At a minimum you
should be checking your deck for maintenance and safety issues each year. Improper and/or loose connections,
Rot, Rust, Corrosion and Cracks should be identified and immediately improved or replaced. Home Depot has a
section on maintenance (cleaning, repairing and a video on staining) of your deck.
Today there are different styles and materials you can choose from when building a deck. If your a DIY type
person there is so much information on the web on how to build a deck, calculators and guides. Be sure to check
your local building codes and by-laws. Home Depot has some information and how to videos. I also found a
couple of US based websites which appear to offer some interesting information on designs, calculators etc -
Decksgo and Decks.com. If you are a DIY type person you may also find Simpson Strong-Tie to be of interest,
they are one of the largest manufacturers of connectors and have a Canadian Website with connector
catalogues, software and where to buy information.
Pricing - Improvements and Replacements Components
Pricing can only be a rough estimate, in many cases a licensed or certified contractor/specialist may need to visually observe the
situation to better understand what is required and even then in some situations there may be hidden costs, i.e. Flooring - once the
flooring is removed do you have issues with the sub floor and or floor joists or electrical such as knob and tube wiring - some times
getting to the knob and tube behind a wall may cause damage to the wall such as plaster and lath which may need to be repaired or
replaced, or Mold Damage, not until you actually investigate further, some times invasive inspection, can you identify all areas which
may have been affected by mold...so additional costs may be required for clean up and or improvements.
There is a website OntarioContractors.com which you can find "Renovation and Building Costs" which will provide rough pricing on
such items like; Roofing, Gutters/Downspouts, Exterior Finishes, Interior Renovations, Furnaces/A/C's, Plumbing and Electrical
Products. You can also post your specific renovation/replacement project online to receive quotes by using "Quick Quote".
Life Expectancy of Home Components
Have you ever wondered how long a certain product will last, when will you need to replace it?. The National Association of Home
Builders and Bank of America Home Equity have published a report for the "Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components 2007".
This report will provide information on the average life expectancy of home components such as Appliances, Cabinets, Decks,
Windows, HVAC, Roofing etc etc. Although the report is US based the information is still useful for us here in Canada as well.
NOTE: This report should be used as a general guideline only. None of the information in this report should be interpreted as a
representation, warranty or guarantee regarding the life expectancy or performance of any individual product or product line. Readers
should not make buying decisions and/or product selections based solely on the information contained in this report.
Contractors - Licensed or Not!
So now you've had your inspection and the inspector has uncovered several items or issues or maybe you already own your home and
need some professional work for improvements or replacement of an item. Home inspectors are not suppose to do improvements on a
home they just inspected nor do they typically recommend specific contractors or specialist and they don't always quote pricing for the
improvements they have just reported on, they can, but typically it is a range in dollars which may be outdated. You can find more
information in our "Code of Ethics".
Most trades have associations which they belong to or in the case of "compulsory trades" in Ontario, will need to register with Ontario
College of Trades.
The Ontario College of Trades (the College) is an industry-driven, professional regulatory body that protects the public by regulating
and promoting the skilled trades. One of the main responsibilities of the College is to ensure that individuals performing the skills of
compulsory trades have the training and certification required to legally practise this trade in Ontario.
There are 23 designated compulsory trades in Ontario. If you click Trades in Ontario you will see a link " to view Trades Names and
Codes click here" located at the top of the page, click on the link and you will get a .pdf with all of the trades that are compulsory and
voluntary. If you scroll down the Trades in Ontario page you will also see each trade and a corresponding marketing broucher (.pdf)
with more information. For the purpose of this website we will focus on HVAC, Electricians, Roofers and Plumbers.
Plumber - If you want to search for a specific compulsory trades person or company (Plumber, HVAC, Electrician etc.) you can search
the Ontario College of Trades Registry.
Roofing - Roofers are not a licensed trade in Ontario. They are listed in the Ontario College of Trades Registry as "non compulsory"
trade. So how do you find a roofer?. There are two associations you can start with. The Canadian Roofing Contractors Association
(CRCA) and Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association (OIRCA) where the latter is more for commercial/industrial roofs. You
can also try the Ontario Contractors Site - Directory Search, try entering roof in the keyword search box. Ideally word of mouth is
probably the best way to find a roofer, or any trade. Once you found three roofers, you may want to look them up on the Ontario
College of Trades Registry, the BBB and see if they are on the Consumer Beware List. You should probably go to the Ministry of
Labour Site or Government of Ontario site to research Hiring a Roofer both sites will give you more info on roofers and how to deal with
HVAC - In Ontario qualified HVAC (heating and A/C) contractors must also be registered with Technical Standards and Safety Authority
(TSSA),To find a Qualified HVAC Contractor. You can also check with the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of
Canada (HRAI) they maintain a list of HVAC Contractors who are required to provide and maintain insurance coverage, valid trade
certificates and licenses, and sign and agree to conform to the HRAI Member Code of Ethics.
Electrician - The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is Ontario’s electrical safety regulator. Their job is to help enhance electrical safety
for the people of Ontario, find a licensed electrician at Contractor Locater.
Engineer - The Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) is the licensing and regulating body for professional engineering in the
province. Here you can find many types of engineers, we are interested in Structural Engineers (issues with you home structure).
When you go to the search site there is a link to License Holder/Engineering Inter Directory click on that and there is a drop down box
labeled "Discipline" pick the structural engineer.
Consumer Beware List
Consumer Protection Ontario is an awareness program from Ontario's Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and other
public organizations, known as administrative authorities, that promote consumer rights and public safety. I recommend you look over
the site BEFORE you hire a contractor, and there is a Consumer Beware List - a list of businesses that have been charged or
convicted in relation to the Consumer Protection Act or other acts of the ministry. You can search for a specific business.