Accomplish Energy Efficiency in your Home with 11 Quick Tips!
Did you know 81% of residential energy consumption is used for space and water heating? Since 2000, this number has increased by 8.4% and while the amount is slowly increasing, this number would actually be much higher at 36% if it weren’t for Canada’s energy efficiency improvements.
Reducing energy consumption and waste is as easy as modifying your habits in the comfort of your own home. Improving your home’s energy efficiency doesn’t need to involve expensive upgrades or complex renovations.
With a few tweaks, you can make your home more comfortable, save some money, and reduce energy usage.
By the end of this blog, you’ll know how you can do your own part!
Tune up and Check your Furnace
New high-efficiency furnaces use the least amount of energy compared to older models, But if you’re not looking to replace your unit, you can make your current one more efficient as well.
by a professional
is the first step.
Servicing involves cleaning the parts you can’t see or reach and making sure it isn’t working harder than it has to.
Be sure to replace filters every three months as this ensures air moves easily into the unit and also prolongs its life. If you have pets, smoke, or have done renovations, you’ll want to replace them more frequently/sooner.
Wrap the Water Heater
You would be surprised how much heat your water heater loses. On-demand water heaters are often the most efficient choice since water isn’t being heated when not in use.
For electric hot water tanks, try wrapping them in an insulating blanket to reduce heat loss.
You can purchase one at an affordable cost at your local hardware store.
Another (sneaky) way energy waste happens is through unsealed or loose joints in the ductwork. Hot air can escape through joints in the ductwork.
This means you are paying to heat places you don’t want to.
These places could be unfinished basements and that also means not getting heat to areas you want like upper floor rooms. Applying heating-vent tape to all visible joints will greatly help.
Test Windows and Doors
Without an airtight seal for your windows and doors, you are wasting energy when heating and cooling your home.
Check for drafts
by holding a lit candle around window frames and doors. If it flickers, you have a draft.
Use caulking around frames, install or replace weather stripping, and add a door sweep. In colder months, exterior window film will increase efficiency even further.
Use Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are great when you want to cool individual rooms such as a bedroom or study and not the whole house with the air conditioner, especially at night.
Running an ‘Energy Star’ ceiling fan uses 60% less energy than an AC unit.
Ceiling fans also help in cold months as most come with a “reverse” option. This option pushes hot air down into the room, just remember to turn it off when it’s not in use.
Bonus Tip! Energy Star recommends combining ac units and ceiling fans when in use. This further helps reduce energy consumption and your bills.
Run Large Appliances During Off-Peak Hours
The washer, dryer, and dishwasher all use a lot of energy and often run for long periods. Wash clothes or dishes during off-peak hours, typically after 7 PM or anytime on weekends when energy costs are at their lowest.
Also, consider using the air-dry option on the dishwasher and washing clothes on
a shorter cycle.
Bonus Tip! If short on time, pre-load your dishwasher so it’s as easy as turning it on when it’s the time.
Install a Clothesline
Dryers can account for up to 6% of a home’s total energy use. If possible, hang your clothes outside in warm months and inside to air dry during the winter when possible.
If possible, hang your clothes outside during Spring and Summer and inside to air dry during the Fall and Winter, when possible.
Bonus Tip! If you don’t have access to a yard or clothesline, opt to hang your clothes in a tub to air dry. You can also purchase a foldable drying rack that you can set up anywhere.
Clean to Maintain Large Appliances
When the vent at the back of the refrigerator, clothes dryer, dishwashers, microwaves, and more get clogged with dust, the motors work harder, requiring more energy resulting in higher energy consumption.
Vacuum these areas a couple of times a year and inspect them regularly.
Bonus Tip! Dirty and neglected vents can result in a fire, particularly dryer lint. According to ‘Consumer Reports’, from 2002-2009, more than 13, 700 clothes dryers were involved in fires so stay on top of appliance recalls and clean these areas to stay safe.
Nowadays, most things in the world are automated and a thermostat is no exception. A programmable thermostat can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 10% by programming the temperature and schedule.
There are tons
of smart thermostats on the market today with different styles and settings.
For lights, install dimmer switches and motion sensors that turn off when you leave the room.
Fight Phantom Power Consumption
Plug countertop appliances and electronics into a power bar and program it to switch off at night.
Remember that televisions, cable boxes, PVRs and game consoles consume energy even when not in use.
If you have them all on a single power bar, it’s easy to switch off before going to bed.
Like the previous tip, you can automate your usage by looking into purchasing power bars with timers or motion sensors. This will help cut phantom power consumption when it is not in use or no one is in the room.
Bonus Tip! Use surge protectors, especially for large appliances and devices. Surge protectors work by diverting extra voltage into a grounding wire. Power surges can happen anytime and your appliances, electronics, and other devices could sustain irreversible damage.
Watch the Chargers
This is probably the most overlooked tip and the one that most don’t realize how much energy is still being used.
Plugged-in chargers draw power even when no device is attached or if an appliance is turned off. Once your phone, tablet, or other devices are fully charged, unplug them.
The plug will still draw energy even if you aren’t actively using it.
Bonus Tip! If you’re leaving for vacation or for a specific amount of time, make sure to unplug your chargers.
It’s the small things that make a difference. You don’t need to install solar panels in your home to make your home more energy efficient. There are plenty of ways to reduce your overall energy consumption, we hope this blog shows you it doesn’t have to be costly or complicated.
Which tips will be utilizing in your home? Let us know by sending us a message!