Heat Containment

FTLComm - Tisdale - Sunday, January 5, 2003


So far we have had a mild winter and only a modest amount of snow but this picture taken yesterday of an older house is the sort of thing that was once so common in Canada.




Canadians have always relied upon relatively plentiful supplies of inexpensive fuel to heat their homes and because the energy prices have remain low the emphasis on conserving heat were not that important until the 1970s when there was an apparent energy crisis and home owners got serious about retaining the heat they were using in their homes.




Up until the seventies most homes were constructed with 2 x 4 exterior walls and insulation was haphazard. But since then with retrofitting as home home owners have put external insulation on older homes with thin walls and roves and new homes have been constructed with 2 x 4 wall studding to make more room for wall insulation. Basement and vapour barrier construction techniques have greatly improved and most newer Canadian homes do a good job of keeping the heat that is being used.








t was a surprise to see a house in this period of history still pouring heat through its roof, so much so to melt the snow and produce this massive ice damn at the eves. Almost every house of this vintage has had the space above its ceiling filled or stuffed with insulation to prevent this sort of thing from occurring.




The new Tisdale Golden Age Centre with its unique and innovative heating system relies upon the building being very well insulated and when the building is full of people they have trouble with the building overheating. More and more we need to think in terms of heat conservation rather than energy consumption. While touring a modern home in Regina recently I was impressed with its new energy efficient furnace and a heat exchanger that used heat in the house to preheat incoming air through its air exchange system.




There is a good chance we are about to see another round of energy efficient incentives from both federal and provincial governments to assist home owners with retrofitting their older furnaces. Programmes like this are in the works and even without them most upgrades to your home heating system will pay for themselves in less than five years.

Timothy W. Shire



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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
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