5 Tips for Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

Homeowners around the world 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 and overall living costs, but it is also part of being environmentally responsible.

A green home is an energy efficient home that consumes less energy through a number of cross functional areas, proper installation, being one of them. Smart weatherization results in a home that is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, using far less energy to run a heat pump or air conditioner.

Here are a few easy tips to help make your home greener, cut your energy costs and transform your home into an energy saving household!

1. Change Your Light bulbs 

A good start is to work with the existing light bulbs in your home. This is a super quick and simple change that will help you save energy. Upgrade your incandescent light bulbs to either LED or CFL light bulbs. According to Toms Guide tech review, Compact Fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs can save three-quarters the energy than a regular light bulb.* 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. Replacing every bulb at once can be pricey. Instead, every time one bulbs goes out, replace it with an LED Bulb. Not only do they last longer, you will see the savings down the line and consume far less energy.

2. Wash Laundry with Cold Water

Energy Star reports that nearly 90% of the energy consumed by your washing machine to heating the water. 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 your clothes, separate 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 allows you 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 when you are actually there to appreciate it. Another fabulous feature 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. You will love it! 

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 consuming energy. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Idle electronics and appliances, such as a toaster oven, 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 standby mode.  The good news is that this kind of power can easily be put to a stop.

A quick and easy solution is utilizing 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 help improve the energy efficiency of your home.

5. Draft Proof Your Home (new windows, check seals, etc.)

Set time aside to walk around your home and complete an inspection. Watch out for 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 (LoE) glass to save on heating bills. LoE glass can keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer, greatly reducing your annual heating and cooling costs. To provide optimal energy efficiency, it is important for you to familiarize yourself with the glass coatings available to you and their benefits. Seemingly-simple decisions like what glass coatings to choose for your new windows can have a long-lasting impact on the energy efficiency of your home.

In addition to managing heat, LoE glass is also excellent at blocking the sun’s ultraviolet rays. If left unchecked, UV rays can eventually cause your drapes and furniture material 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 LoE 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.

For more information about energy efficient windows, give Centra a call and speak to a representative about all your energy efficient needs or call 1-888-534-3333

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