In a world where prices always seem to be rising, and where even simple things like good quality food are costing more money, it just makes sense to try to be eco smart! Especially when it comes to our homes...it's amazing what a difference a few upgrades can make in the efficiency of your home. Things such as a good quality furnace, energy star appliances, or even energy star doors really can and DO save you money in the long run. BMO is a bank that understands how important it can be to have an energy efficient home and because of that they have created a new Eco Smart Mortgage that has a fabulously low five-year fixed interest rate of 3.89 per cent! In fact, this rate is even lower than any of the other comparable green mortgages you can find out there.
So, how do you know if your home is efficient enough? Or if you would be able to take advantage of a great deal like this? The BMO website has a checklist that you can download from their website that will give you an answer. The checklist really only takes a few minutes to complete...it's short and simple. :) I went through our current home to see how we rated for energy efficiency in our home, and here were the results:
High Efficiency Heating System - YES!
We have a high efficiency furnace that we put in several years ago - and love it! It has lowered our heating bills significantly!
High efficiency Air Cooling System or no Air Cooling System at all - YES!
Our only cooling system is opening up the windows and letting the summer breeze blow through them. :)
Good Quality Attic Insulation - YES!
We took care of this several years ago and have excellent attic insulation in our home...it's funny how much of a difference we noticed in the warmth or coolness of our home in winter or summer after adding the extra insulation!
Windows - NO!
The Eco Smart Mortgage requires energy star windows with no cracks or air gaps. Our windows are good ol' aluminum sliders...and yep, there are air gaps...mostly tiny ones, but they are still there.
Domestic Hot Water System - NO!
BMO requires a Solar domestic hot water system in order to qualify for this mortgage...unfortunately, as wonderful as it sounds, our home does not have this energy efficient feature yet.
Doors - NO!
Although we have replaced our outer doors, we do not have the type of doors that is required (ENERGY STAR qualified or metal, or fibreglass insulated doors).
Major Appliances - NO! (but soon to be YES!)
Currently we only have an Energy Star dishwasher...all other appliances are older and are probably using a lot of our energy! That said...we have purchased new appliances for a move that we'll be making soon - three out of the four of them are energy star, so we're looking forward to lower energy bills and to a more efficient home!)
So, with a score of 3/7 (or 4/7 if you count our soon-to-have new appliances) we would not qualify for the BMO Eco Smart Mortgage. However, it was a great exercise to go through our home and see what improvements we could work towards in the future to make our home more eco smart! Now it's your turn...do you qualify? How eco smart is your home? Take a few minutes and go through BMO's handy checklist and see what your eco smart score is.
One lucky reader is going to win a $50 RONA gift card to help you make your home a little more energy efficient! In order to get one entry, share something you are currently doing or some future plans you may have to make your home more energy efficient.
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CONTEST OPEN TO CANADA ONLY! Contest ends May 11, 2011. Please view our giveaway rules for more info.
Disclosure – I am participating in the BMO Eco Smart Mortgage program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of BMO - Bank of Montreal. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.