Save Money and Energy with these 6 Easy Home Improvement Tips!
Most buyers and homeowners focus on the aesthetic of a home as an indication of its worth, but if you look past the decor, you’ll find it’s the other things that add long-term value to a home. Living in an energy-efficient home is a great way to invest in your home.
In Ontario, we experience four seasons every year meaning our homes need to withstand all the elements like keeping the cold out during the winter and keeping the hot air out during the summer. Homes in Ontario aren’t always built with the best materials to combat these elements, especially in the winter and summer seasons.
So, here is a list of 6 things you can simply do to combat your energy bill as a homeowner.
In Ontario, residential and small business customers are typically billed based on Time-of-Use (TOU).
Energy rates in Ontario use TOU rates to help reward you for using electricity during low-demand periods.
In the image below, you can see that the lowest rates are at night, on weekends, and on statutory holidays.
Change your routines and habits and refrain from using high-powered machines and appliances like dishwashers and washing machines until 7 PM or on weekends, use natural daylight as much as possible, and if you’re going away, unplug them. You’ll notice a difference in your utility bills right away!
As mentioned, wait to do a full load of laundry rather than a few pieces and do it only during off-peak hours or weekends. Most laundry machines allow you to change the water temperature to ‘cold’ or ‘eco-mode’ as well.
If possible, consider hanging your clothes to dry, this can be done inside or outside.
If you use cold water, you can save enough energy for about 220 showers.
If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, go for an ‘Energy Star’ model as they are 20% more efficient. For further savings, look for a rebate program at your local hardware store.
Windows and Doors
Air leakage from windows and doors accounts for 25% of heating costs. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows, dryers, and other vents, and installing insulated plates on electrical outlets can make your home warmer and more energy efficient. All these materials can be found at your local hardware store.
If you’re running AC during warmer months, make sure to keep all windows and doors closed.
If you leave a door or window open, the air becomes unstable and makes your air conditioner work harder resulting in unnecessary energy usage. Keeping a door or window open will not make your space feel cooler.
Using a programmable thermostat helps keep your heating and cooling systems on schedule so that your furnace is not struggling to raise and lower the temperature in your home at pointless periods of the day – such as when everyone is at work or school.
Technology is here to stay and can assist your energy-efficient mandate.
Smart thermostats, like the Nest Learning Thermostat or Ecobee3, give you more capabilities to monitor and control your usage and offer incentives to use less energy.
Energy Star Certified Windows
Do you have high-performing windows? If not, look into upgrading your windows to save some green as well.
Today’s high-performance windows reduce energy loss, condensation, mould, and noise while increasing home comfort and resale values.
Who wants poorly installed windows that allow drafts, noise, dust, or water leaks to result in costly damages?
Energy Efficient LED Lighting
If you have any incandescent bulbs, please stop using them immediately and replace them with an ‘Energy Star’ certified bulb. LEDs are a great choice! Unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs provide light in defined directions which means you get more light where you want it and less where you don’t.
It makes spaces such as kitchens, home offices,
more comfortable, customized,
Plus, LED lights use up to 90 percent less energy than incandescent lighting. Purchase Smart LED lights that can connect to your devices so you can change the colour, brightness, and temperature all at the tip of your hands. Bonus Tip! Visit ‘Save on Energy’ to find some recent deals before heading to your local hardware store!
At Level Studio, sustainability is important to us.
In our projects, we work with you to incorporate and maximize energy efficiency by taking the time to research, source, and implement all the above (and more) in our designs.
We love to write blogs on these topics so if you want to learn more tips, read
‘9 Houseplants for Improving Air Quality’ or ‘6 Sustainable Interior Design Tips for your Home’.
Thanks for following along and Happy Saving!