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Volunteers help to update Ottawa Community Housing building in Alta Vista

Workers install insulation onto an updated solar heating duct at an OCH apartment building at 1455 Clementine Ave. on Wednesday morning. Christopher Whan / Global News

Some of the city of Ottawa’s most vulnerable citizens will be sleeping a little warmer this winter as volunteers have helped work to increase the energy efficiency of one of Ottawa Community Housing’s properties.

Volunteers helped re-insulate a solar heating duct at 1455 Clementine Ave. as part of an overall plan to make OCH properties more energy efficient.

The property has an 8,000-square-foot panel on the south side of the building that collects the warm air from the sun beating down on it and transfers it into the building’s heating system through a series of insulated ducts.

READ MORE: Ottawa Community Housing set to build eco-inspired homes in Centretown West

One of those ducts was in need of repairs. Donations from Heat & Frost Insulators Local 95 and ICON insulation funded the $35,600 project.

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According to Dan Dicaire, energy and sustainability officer at OCH, this project will save approximately $10,000 per year in natural gas costs. These savings are possible because the duct essentially does half of the work of heating the air.

“Say, for example, it’s a cold January day and it’s -20 C out,” Decaire said. “This duct … will heat the air to at least 0 C and that way the natural gas furnace only has to heat from 0 C to 20 C.”

READ MORE: Could Toronto follow Ottawa Community Housing and offer smoke free housing?

Brian McKenzie, foreman on the job believes the project should hopefully last at least 20 years, or even the life of the building.

Projects like this are part of the overarching Eco2 plan by OCH, which seeks to cut the energy cost of all of its properties across the city. According to OCH, in 2017 the project saved around $7 million in energy costs to the city.

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