Although budgets are tight and renovations may feel expensive, there are many everyday changes you can make that will save you more money over time – and make your home more resilient in the face of disaster.
After much of the country faced the grim realities of climate change in the past year, many people are exploring how to make their home climate-ready for the long-term. In fact, it’s about one-in-five of us according to data from insurance provider Aviva Canada’s recent How We Live report.
Your roof goes through a lot of wear and tear in the best of times, but there are sustainable solutions that are also incredibly durable. For instance, metal roofs are not only made with recycled materials, they can also improve the energy efficiency of your home, are not susceptible to damage from pests or mould and typically they can withstand extremes of rain, wind and fire. You won’t need to shell out for replacement nearly as often as you would with materials like wooden shakes or asphalt.
For a sustainable home, you need to ensure the space is well sealed. Replacing or recalking your windows and doors will prevent wasted energy from loss of hot or cold air. Alongside an up-to-date ventilation system, this will also help you keep the indoor air clean and healthy in the face of contaminants like wildfire smoke.
When it comes to energy-efficient heating and cooling, electric heat pumps are becoming a gold standard. They are free from fossil fuels, and because they transfer thermal energy, rather than generate it, they use less power than other types of heating and cooling systems to save you cash over time.
Naturalizing your yard with native plants not only adds crowd-pleasing colour and texture to your outdoor space, but it also helps support a diverse ecosystem, which is a small but mighty part of fighting climate change. As a bonus, native plants typically need less care and maintenance than a lawn or annual blooms, so you’ll save on water usage. Permeable pavers are also a great way to prevent water from pooling and causing damage to your home or garage. It’s also essential to ensure your outdoor space slopes away from the foundations of your home to prevent flooding.
Whatever you decide to do, be sure to review your insurance policy to make sure you have appropriate coverage and ensure you’re taking advantage of options that reward climate-friendly choices. You can learn more at aviva.ca