Home Efficiency Upgrades

Are you starting to think more about making your home more efficient? BC is diving into cleaning up its carbon pollution and giving incentives in the form of rebates to homeowners that reduce their environmental impact. Making energy-efficient upgrades won’t just reduce your energy costs in your Nanaimo home, it will also turn it into a clean, efficient, and comfortable home. You will love the benefit of increased year-round home comfort. Your savings will go further when you make multiple upgrades and increase the efficiency of your home.

What do these upgrades look like?

  1. Upgrade your Insulation

By upgrading your insulation you are doing a few things. In the winter you’re keeping the heat in and the cold out, which lets your heat source run more efficiently. During the summertime, you’re keeping the cool air inside your home and stopping the heat from coming into your home, maximizing your comfort. Upgrading your insulation can be quite intrusive to do behind your walls. However, doing your attic or crawlspace requires less intrusion. If you have spaces that have no insulation at all, then spray foam insulation is also an option and doesn’t require too much intrusion.

2. Upgrade your Windows

Replacing your old drafty windows with double-paned, sealed windows is a great way to isolate your home from the environment. Just like insulation, it’s going to help keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They also add a nice touch to the exterior look of your home and are a selling feature if you’re thinking of selling your home.

3. Replace your Weather Stripping

This is an easy task that can usually be done by yourself, and it’s relatively inexpensive. Weatherstripping is the foam or rubber material that really makes the seal around doors and windows. This stops drafts from coming into your home and pulling that heat outside. There’s nothing worse than creating a warm home only to have that slight draft sneak into your home and pull some of that warmth away from you.

4. Upgrade your Heating Source

This a quite a lengthy topic, but there are some basics that you should be aware of. Just knowing the options available for your home in Nanaimo is a great start. First, there are your inefficient heat sources, such as oil furnaces and electric baseboards. Oil furnaces are the opposite of the direction BC is taking, as they have a big impact on our carbon footprint. It’s is roughly 17x “dirtier” than natural gas. Electric baseboards are easy and cheap to install, but leave your home inefficient and costly to operate.

Options for your home:

So what are your options? Right now in Nanaimo, natural gas is your cheapest and most comfortable option. There are rebates from FortisBC (Find them here), its easy and cheap to get to your home, and it’s inexpensive to operate. On top of that, the industry is always improving technology. Plus, they’re almost always at least 92% efficient. On the other hand, BC has very clean electricity as most of it derives from hydro dams. That combined with the technology in heat pumps, you have another option for affordable, clean, comfortable heat. A benefit of heat pumps is that they also cool in the summertime, through the technology of a reversing valve. The debate between natural gas vs heat pumps is a “heated” one. There are many factors that affect it, such as the size of your home and what other upgrades you have done to improve it. Nonetheless, these two options are your best for home heating in Nanaimo.

5. Upgrade your Water Heater

Last but most definitely not least, you can upgrade the way to heat your water. The most common way Nanaimo homes are heating their water is with an electric tank. This method may be common, but not efficient. Other homes may be heating their water by a gas water heating with an atmospheric vent. Even though it’s heated by natural gas it’s still not that efficient. Thankfully, the experts have created a beautiful thing- the Tankless water heater. This machine is incredible. It heats the water instantly through 2 heat exchanges using natural gas and doesn’t store any water. These units are over 90% efficient and cost only dollars a month to operate. To read more about the, Click Here.


Now that you know more about increasing the efficiency in your Nanaimo home, you can cost-effectively move with BC in their decision to create a cleaner province. Almost all of these energy-efficient upgrades do require professional installation, so ensure you hire the right contractor. At Norm’s Plumbing and Heating, we can assist you with upgrading your home heating and water heating. We have been serving Nanaimo and are for 50 years, and have the largest residential service crew in Nanaimo. We’re always ready to serve this great city. We are also a 3rd generation family-owned and operated company! For more information on us, read about our history here.

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