Nowadays, many people are looking for ways to save energy at home. Reducing a household’s energy consumption not only saves money, but can also have a significant, positive impact on the environment. When it comes to saving energy, awareness is key. If you know where energy is wasted, you’ll be better equipped to find ways to use it more efficiently.
Here are some energy saving ideas for you and your family.
- Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water
You’ve probably already heard that washing clothes in cold water will reduce your energy bill, but did you know that it could reduce your washing machine’s energy consumption by 90%? When washing clothes in warm or hot water, most of the energy is used to heat the water. Imagine how much money you could save!
- Use Your Appliances Strategically
Talking about washing clothes… did you know that using your washing machine, dryer or dishwasher at night is more energy-efficient and could save you money? Some utility companies charge a lower rate outside of peak hours, which are usually between 7 AM and 7 PM. You will also avoid overheating your home since these types of appliances tend to generate a lot of heat.
Another great tip related to appliances or electronics is to unplug them when not in use. Even though they are turned off, appliances (or electronics) still consume energy. To avoid having to unplug every single item in your home individually, consider grouping the electrical plugs on a power bar or multiple plug adapters.
- Close Your Shades, Curtains or Blinds
We all enjoy a little sun, but if you’re concerned about your energy bill, try closing your home’s shades strategically throughout the day. By closing your blinds, curtains or shades on the side of your home that is directly hit by the sun, your A/C won’t have to work as much to keep the inside of your home at a stable temperature.
You can also install solar shades that will filter the UV light, thus reducing the amount of solar heat that enters your home. Blackout curtains are also another energy saving option. These two types of window treatments not only reduce the amount of heat that enters your home during summer – they also preserve the warmth in your home during cold, icy winter months.
- Practice Daylighting
This tip might seem like it’s the opposite of Tip #3, but keeping your shades or blinds open can also be considered energy-efficient. Up to 10% of your energy bill can be attributed to lighting. By keeping some of your shades open (preferably not on the sunny side of your house), you’ll be letting in natural sun rays and avoid using your indoor lights during the day.
- Install a Programmable Thermostat
Adding a programmable module to your thermostat or buying programmable thermostats are a great way to save energy at home. In fact, these products will help you adjust your home’s temperature throughout the day according to your schedule. According to Natural Resources Canada, this action could save you up to 2% on your energy bill for every degree you roll back the temperature.
- Improve Your Home’s Insulation and Seal Cracks
Improving your home’s insulation is an energy saving tip that shouldn’t be taken likely. In fact, by sealing cracks, closing gaps and ensuring your house is well-isolated, you can cut your heating bill significantly.
There are many great websites that explain how to upgrade your home and improve its energy efficiency. For example, you can install a clear plastic film on your window to improve insulation during winter. You can also use self-adhesive foam or caulking to winterize your windows and doors.
- Switch to LED Lightbulbs
More and more households are progressively switching to LED lightbulbs and it’s easy to see why. LED lightbulbs use between 30% and 80% less energy than traditional lightbulbs. They also last longer, which not only means less money spent on your lighting bill, but also less money spent on replacing lightbulbs.
- Install New Windows
Installing new windows isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, especially since it’s an expensive one. However, taking such a leap will undoubtedly have a positive economic impact in the long-run. Energy-efficient windows will help reduce your cooling, lighting and heating costs significantly.
There are many window manufacturers offering elegant, energy-efficient windows. When it comes to choosing windows, there are many options to choose from. Don’t hesitate to ask your window installation professional which type is more suited to your home’s design and your area’s climate.
Not all windows have the same energy performance rating, so ensure you select the appropriate model.
- Use Energy-efficient Appliances & Products
If you’re upgrading your microwave, oven, dishwasher, dryer, washing machine or other household appliance, look for the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR® is an independent energy-efficient certification organization that helps you easily identify which products will save you money due to their low energy consumption. The organization has rated a wide range of products, including lighting, electronics, appliances, office equipment, windows and more. Keep your eyes peeled for the star!
An important side note: although electrical heaters don’t fall under the purview of the organization in Canada, there are many energy-efficient options available to us. Heaters are becoming more and more sophisticated with new and improved energy efficient features. For example, the Opera 17 is a heater with a unique motion detector that allows it to gradually lower heating when human activity is no longer detected.
- Change Your Air Filter
Did you know that changing your air filter regularly could help save energy? If your filter is dirty, your ventilation system will have to double its efforts to make up for a slower air flow. That’s why you should install a new filter at least 4 times a year. Not only will a clean filter help save energy, it will also provide healthier, cleaner air throughout your home.
As you can see, there are several ways you can save energy at home. From switching to LED lightbulbs to washing your clothes in cold water, it’s easy to reduce your utility bill with simple, daily actions. Energy efficiency is good for your wallet, and most all, great for the environment. Do you part today in reducing your carbon footprint by following these 10 tips.