5 Tips for Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
5 Tips for Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
Homeowners everywhere are constantly looking for ways to make their home more energy-efficient. Not only is it a great way to cut down on your energy bill spending, but it is also part of being environmentally responsible.
We have compiled five of our favourite ideas that you can take advantage of to turn your home into an energy saving household!
1. Change Your Light bulbs
This is a super quick and easy change to make to your home that will save energy. Upgrade your light bulbs to either LED or CFL light bulbs. Compact Fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs can save three-quarters the energy than a regular incandescent. LED light bulbs do not contain mercury and are very long lasting. For example, an incandescent bulb can last around 1000 hours, CFL bulb may last around 8000 hours, and an equivalent LED bulb may last around 25000 hours.
As a result, the upfront cost of upgrading your light bulbs to LED or CFL will be substantially made up on the life span of your light bulbs and the energy savings.
2. Wash Laundry with Cold Water
Energy Star reports that nearly 90% of the energy consumed by your washing machine goes to heating the water. It is worth mentioning that a common belief is that cold water doesn’t clean your clothes as well as warm water. This isn’t entirely true, plus you can purchase cold water specific detergents that do a better job at cleaning your clothes than if you used ordinary detergent for your clothes in cold water. The price difference is minimal, and the energy bill savings you will accumulate will justify the cold water detergents.
When drying, separate out your light and heavy garments because they take different amounts of time to dry. Another useful tip is to not over-dry your clothes; take them out while they are still slightly damp to reduce the need for ironing and avoid garment shrinking.
3. Upgrade Your Thermostat
Upgrading your current thermostat to a programmable thermostat is an excellent way to save on energy costs. A programmable thermostat gives you the ability to set the temperature of your home based on your own schedule. If you are at work from 9am to 5pm, why have your house heated when nobody is there? With a programmable thermostat, you will save money by having your home at the ideal temperature only where you are actually there to enjoy it. Another fabulous feature about these thermostats is the ability to turn it on vacation or “hold” mode when you are out of town for a period of time. Programmable thermostats on average cost between $100-300 depending on which model and features you choose to have, so make sure you do research into which thermostat will work best for you and your home.
4. Unplug Your Home Office and Unused Electronics
A common misconception with electronics is that when you aren’t using them and they remain plugged in they aren’t drawing any power. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Idle electronics and appliances (like your toaster) are quietly draining electricity throughout the day. This also includes electronics like your TV and computer when they are powered off.
The reason being is that electronics typically draw standby power, which is the power consumed by devices when they are switched off or in a mode of standby. The good news is that this kind of power draining can be easily put to a stop.
Use a power bar or power strip that has an on/off switch on it. When you have your electronics plugged into one of these, you can turn off the power of your electronics and appliances and they won’t be able to continue to draw additional power. Alternatively, you can simply unplug those devices when you are no longer using them. This method can be a bit of a pain for certain electronics if they are plugged into hard to reach places, but for something like your toaster it can be a simple fix to stop the power drainage.
5. Draft Proof Your Home (new windows, check seals, etc.)
Set time aside to perform a walk around inspection of your home. Look for things like cracks around your windows, electrical outlets where you can feel a draft coming through, and drafty door frames or attic hatches. Stand next to your windows and see if you can feel the cool air passing through them. Consider using caulking and insulation to help seal up those problematic drafts.
If that does not do the trick, you should look at replacing those energy-leaking windows with windows that contain argon gas and low-emissivity (Low-E) glass to save on heating bills. Low-E glass can keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer, greatly reducing your annual heating and cooling costs.
In addition to managing heat, Low-E glass is also excellent at blocking the sun’s ultraviolet rays. If left unchecked, UV rays can eventually cause your drapes and furniture upholstery to fade, leaving you with unattractive and old-looking home décor. In order to keep your furniture beautiful for years to come, consider investing in energy-efficient vinyl windows with Low-E glass. Vinyl windows are also highly resistant to dirt, stains, and scratches, which means that they’ll stay beautiful for a long time to come.
At Centra we offer windows complete with argon gas and Low-E glass.
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