<h2 style="margin: 10pt 0cm 0pt"><font size="3"><font color="#990000"><span>What Four-Letter Word Do You Use When Shelling Out The Money To Pay For Heating Your Home These Days?</span></font></font></h2><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt">by: Harvey Juric</span></p><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt"><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">As North American households face heating bills averaging at least 30 % higher than last year; the connection between household energy use and energy prices is evident to everyone.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Energy efficiency remains the quickest, cheapest, cleanest way to help you lower your home energy bills, extend the nations energy supplies, bring down energy costs and fatten your wallet.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Energy efficiency shouldn’t be a headache – in fact, it can be very rewarding. Not only is increasing the energy efficiency of your home a step toward better use of fuel and less pollution, it also offers you greater security and independence, lower energy bills and makes your home a more comfortable place to live.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Retrofitting energy efficiency can be expensive, but when you build a new house, it is relatively easy and cheap to make it energy efficient.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">The task is achieved by marrying several of the latest technologies and developments in home construction.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">The development and increasing use of Insulated Concrete Forms in construction is one of the main breakthroughs in high energy efficiency in new homes.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">These “Forms” are Styrofoam (EPS) blocks that get filled with steel reinforced concrete and form the shape of the building. They double the insulation value, triple the sound resistance and quadruple the strength of the building.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Another important component in energy efficient homes is Radiant Floor Heating; which the industry claims will alone save you 20% on your annual heating bill. Not to mention that it gives you unprecedented comfort during those cold and long winter nights.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Add to this a High Efficiency Tank-Less Water Heater that can heat your whole house while giving you an endless stream of hot water; and the picture gets a little clearer.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Complete the package with a Heat Recovery Ventilator connected to a sophisticated “Earth Energy” system that uses a series of underground pipes in order to pre-condition the incoming air. This simple solution preheats your incoming air in the winter and pre-cools it in the summer.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">Combine these four energy efficient breakthroughs and the result is a home that will slash at least 50% of your home heating bills as well as be your castle in a very real sense of the word.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">A home that stands up to fire, noise, sun, wind, rain, snow, bugs, mould and inevitable Acts of God like, earthquakes and hurricanes;</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">A home that is safer, stronger and healthier than any other home you have ever seen;</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">The only question left to answer is how much does it all cost? Your initial investment for this type of home is a little more ( approximately 10% more compared to conventionally built home) or considerably less when you think of long term costs, not only for you and your family but also for the planet we live on.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">The “payback period” in fuel and maintenance would be between five to seven years but considering the alternative of keeping the status quo during predictions of a looming energy crisis, it is a very reasonable and logical solution.</p>  <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">When buying your new home, consciously choose to make informed decisions concerning the future of you and your family. A little bit of effort and common sense can go a long way in making your home more energy efficient and paying you dividends for years to come.</p>  <p><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 200%; font-family: ‘Verdana’,’sans-serif’; letter-spacing: 1pt">Harvey Juric, ICF Consultant and CEO of ICFhome.ca is a custom home builder in southern Ontario. He has been in the home construction industry for the past 30 years performing a wide variety of tasks related to the building trades. As one of the pioneers of the Insulated Concrete Form industry, he formed ICFhome.ca to take advantage of, at that time, emerging new construction techniques that promised stronger, better and more energy efficient homes. For more information about the model home, Insulated Concrete Forms or Radiant Floor Heating contact ICFhome.ca by telephone 519 843-7612, e-mail <a href="mailto:harvey@icfhome.ca">harvey@icfhome.ca</a>.</span></p></span>