Top 5 reasons to do a deep retrofit

Is your home too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter? Do extreme temperatures put your furnace and air conditioner into overdrive? Is your home’s repairs and maintenance to-do list so long and daunting that you’ve “accidentally” lost it under the fridge? Is your asthma worse in the basement? Do you have seasonal allergies, even in your own home? Are you wondering what you can do to help address climate change?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider a deep retrofit.

But what’s a deep retrofit? 

There are two types of deep retrofits we reccommend to get a home to net-zero ready by making a building airtight and super-insulated.

One-shot deep retrofit:

Do the entire retrofit all at once to make the building airtight, super-insulated and net-zero ready. Panelized retrofits are an example of a one-shot approach.

Staged deep retrofit

Do the retrofit over time, but carefully planned with a goal to make the building net-zero ready.

Why would I want to do a deep retrofit?

Great question! 

These are the top five reasons to do a deep retrofit.

A deep retrofit can save you money

A deep retrofit done right requires a more significant upfront investment than just getting solar panels or replacing your windows. That’s why Retrofit Canada recommends looking at the Total Cost of Ownership.

Calculating your Total Cost of Ownership means taking a long view of house-related expenses. You need to look at your home’s costs for everything from your monthly utility bills to mortgage payments and interest to repair and replacement costs. 

Long view here is more than just five to ten years. Getting an educated estimate of the total costs of owning your home means looking at what you believe you will spend throughout an entire mortgage Knowing your house-related costs for the next 15 to 25 years will show how much time and money you can save with a deep retrofit that makes your home net-zero ready. On top of that, a deep retrofit will give your home a facelift with new exterior walls, siding and roofing that will last for decades. 

Deep Retrofits are less disruptive

One of the top benefits of exterior deep retrofits is that they happen on the outside of the house and take less time. A one-shot retrofit, which wraps a home in pre-built wall panels, can happen in as little as a month with an experienced crew and proper planning. What’s more, you and your family can stay in the building during construction.

Even with a staged retrofit that happens over time, there are far fewer disruptions while upgrading the exterior. This is because deep retrofits are about making a home super-insulated and airtight from the outside in. Though they can require some HVAC work inside, they don’t require tearing off drywall room-by-room to access the studs and insulation throughout the whole house.

Deep retrofits are more comfortable

If you get a deep retrofit, you can say goodbye to unbearably hot rooms in the summer and cold, drafty rooms in the dead of winter.

Because a deep retrofit makes your home airtight and super-insulated, there is less “thermal exchange” between the inside of your home and the outside, where extreme temperatures affect your indoor comfort.

A properly retrofitted home is like a thermos that keeps coffee hot on winter ski trips and your ice-tea cold on summer trips to the beach.

All this means you will be able to find that sweet-spot temperature no matter the weather or which room you are in. And best of all - no more family feuds at the thermostat.

Besides eliminating seasonal and room-to-room temperature swings, a deep retrofit will reduce outside noise, thanks to thicker exterior walls with more insulation.

It isn’t safe and healthy for anyone to be breathing pollutants in their own home. It’s even less safe for those with asthma or allergies. A deep retrofit can help make the air you breathe free of outside and inside pollutants.

Effective deep retrofits that make a home truly net-zero ready combine airtightness and energy efficiency with modern ventilation systems and all-electric HVAC technology and appliances.

After a deep retrofit, you can say goodbye to natural gas heating, air conditioning, clothes dryers, and stoves that produce indoor pollution. And then, you can say hello to advanced fresh air systems that keep pollutants and allergens out. 

Deep retrofits are real climate action

Here at Retrofit Canada, we are very much on the side of the climate change debate that says the science is settled - we need to act now to reduce our carbon emissions.

About 1/3 of greenhouse gases come from the buildings we use today. 70% of these buildings will still be standing in 2050. 

In other words, we have to make the homes we live in today net-zero ready. Deep retrofits are a solution that gives homeowners a practical, tangible opportunity to do their part to reduce emissions.