01 Oct Simple Home Improvement Tips to Save Money and Energy!
Most buyers and homeowners focus on the esthetic 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 that are built in Ontario are not 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.
Use electricity when necessary
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 whenever possible. As you can see from the seasonal charts below, the lowest rates are at night, on weekends and statutory holidays.
Changing your routine and some habits like doing laundry only after 7 PM or on weekends is the best way to take advantage of the off-peak TOU rate. Refrain from using high powered machines and appliances like dishwashers until 7 PM and use natural daylight as much as possible.
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.
One other way to cut energy usage and costs on your electricity bill is to use cold water for washing and rinsing. Did you know If you use cold water, you could save enough energy for about 220 showers?
If you’re looking into buying a new Washing Machine, go for an Energy Star model. They are 20% more efficient. Look for a rebate program at your local hardware store.
Window and Door Treatment
Air leakage from Window and Doors account for 25% of heating costs. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows, dryers, and other vents, and install insulated plates on electrical outlets can make your home warmer and more energy efficient. You can purchase all these materials at your local hardware store.
Add a smart thermostat that auto-adjusts the temperature
Technology is here to stay and can assist your energy-efficient mandate! Using a programmable thermostat helps keep your heating and cooling systems on a 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. 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.
Did you know? Ontario’s New GreenON program will now give you a $100 rebate if you purchase a smart thermostat? This rebate is available to all Ontario residents, including condo owners. For more information check out Link to GreenON Thermostat Rebate GreenON Thermostat Rebate
Invest in new Energy Star certified windows with insulated glass
Do you have high-performing windows? If not you should look into upgrading your windows to save some green as well. Today’s high-performance windows reduce energy loss, condensation, and noise while also increasing home comfort and resale values. Through Ontario’s new GreenON rebate program you can receive up to $1,000’s in rebates.
To be eligible for this rebate you must choose a GreenON participating contractor to help you select and install your window selection that is perfect for your home. You do not want a poorly installed window that can allow drafts, noise, dust or water leaks resulting in costly damages.
For more information, check out the GreenON website to find a contractor and other information about this rebate . Link to GreenON Rebate for Insulation & Windows
Switch from incandescent bulbs to energy efficient LED lighting
If you have any incandescent bulbs, please stop using them immediately and replace them with an ENERGY STAR-certified light fixture. LED bulbs 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 and bathrooms brighter and more comfortable.
Plus, LED lights use up to 90 percent less energy than incandescent lighting. Visit www.saveonenergy.ca to find some recent deals before heading to your local hardware store!