Given the cold winters in Canada, Canadians are keen to know how to save home energy and reduce the cost to heat and light their homes.
And, by reducing the amount of energy they use, they also conserve the planet’s resources. Here are 10 simple tips to save on the energy consumption in your home:
- 1. Adjust Your Thermostat
- 2. Turn Down the Water Heater (Should You?)
- 3. Choose Energy Star Appliances
- 4. Use Smart Strips
- 5. Let Your Dishes Air Dry
- 6. Check the Fireplace Damper (Is It Safe to Close It?)
- 7. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
- 8. Use Passive Solar Energy
- 9. Check the Insulation
- 10. Make Sure Doors are Sealed
1. Adjust Your Thermostat
In winter, if you turn the thermostat down a couple of extra degrees, especially at night and when no one is home, you’ll save on heating costs.
Using a programmable thermostat is an excellent way to make it easier to adjust your heating and save during the times when it isn’t needed as much.
2. Turn Down the Water Heater (Should You?)
Some reports on saving energy recommend turning your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to save on the energy cost required to heat the water and avoid scalds.
However, in Canada, there has been debate about what the best setting is. Reports indicate that bacteria can grow rapidly and make people sick if the water is not hot enough.
It may be best to consult a professional before you decide to take steps in this direction.
3. Choose Energy Star Appliances
If you don’t already have Energy Star appliances, consider them when you need to replace any of your current models.
There are rebates offered in some places if you use these models, so check the energy department of your local area or ask at the retailer.
4. Use Smart Strips
Some appliances, such as coffee makers, computers, and televisions, use up energy even when they’re turned off.
However, if you plug them into a smart strip power cord with an “on/off” switch, you can turn off the energy supply at night or when they aren’t in use, saving on the amount of energy they use.
5. Let Your Dishes Air Dry
If you use your dishwasher’s heated drying feature, you may be wasting a lot of unnecessary electricity.
Turn off this setting, and when the washing and rinsing are finished, open the dishwasher, and let the dishes air-dry before you put them away in the cupboards.
6. Check the Fireplace Damper (Is It Safe to Close It?)
If you have a fireplace, it’s sometimes recommended to make sure the damper is closed when it’s not in use. The open damper can cause you to lose warm air in winter and cool air in summer.
However, this is only safe to do if the fire is completely out. If you aren’t careful, harmful and dangerous chemicals can back up into your home.
Check with a professional before you close any vents connected to heating sources of any kind.
7. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
The traditional incandescent light bulbs are cheaper when you buy them, but they may cost a lot in the long run because you must replace them more often.
Going with halogen, compact fluorescent (CFLs), or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs may cost more at the checkout but can save you on energy costs because they last far longer than traditional bulbs.
Check out what types are available in your local outlets and match them to your budget for energy savings. Sometimes rebates are offered when you purchase certain bulbs.
8. Use Passive Solar Energy
Passive solar energy refers to using the sun’s natural heat to help warm your home and the natural light to cut down on costs.
If your house has windows facing the sun, open the curtains or blinds to let the sun do its natural thing and heat and light your rooms during the day.
9. Check the Insulation
Check to make sure you have appropriate insulation in the attic and the basement to reduce heat loss and cut down energy wastage.
You can get a professional to give you an idea if your insulation needs are being adequately taken care of in these spaces.
10. Make Sure Doors are Sealed
When doors are not properly sealed, they can allow your precious heat to escape. Make sure your entrances are not robbing your energy.
It’s another area where a professional can give you the right information or do the job for you if it’s not a DIY project you want to take on.
You don’t need to do a complete home renovation to save on energy costs and resources. The simple steps outlined above will help you enjoy an eco-friendlier home and a better energy budget. Just as with reducing food waste, it’s another way to make your living habits more eco-conscious.