With so much concern over the health of the planet and people’s financial circumstances, a lot more focus has been put on the energy efficiency of homes. Reducing energy use at home is a solution for both issues that can actually take very little effort.
Below are a few projects that can be completed in an afternoon and help you save more energy all year long.
Do you live in a deregulated energy market? Then you have the luxury of being able to select your electric provider. In a deregulated energy market, numerous providers create unique plans and set their own rates, which can change at any time.
Providers like Atco Gas regularly offer limited-time deals on both electricity and gas that can be locked in long-term. Consumers that keep an eye on the latest offers are in the position to find the provider with the best rates. At least once a year, compare electric provider rates; no matter how much electricity you use, it will cost less.
If you love your electric provider but want to save more on your electricity bill take a look at all the available plans. Like prices, the type of plans being offered change all the time.
One of the newest offers is a time-of-use plan. Instead of having one standard rate, the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) fluctuates throughout the day depending on demand. If you’re able to adjust your usage so that less energy is used during peak hours you could save a significant amount on your bill with very little effort.
Adjust Your Water Heater
This one is a double whammy since it can help reduce electricity and gas expenses with the turn of a knob. Right now what is your water heater temperature set to? If it’s above 120ºF, then you’re probably wasting energy. In most situations, 120ºF is adequate for water heating. Every 10 degrees over this mark will increase energy use by 3-5%.
For maximum energy savings go a step further and insulate your water heater.
Weatherize Around Doors and Windows
Take a second to examine the area around your front door and windows. Do you see slivers of light around the frame or edges of the door? Anywhere you see light coming through is an air leak. Energy that’s being used to power the heating and cooling systems is wasted when the climate controlled air seeps outside.
The solution for air leaks is simple and easy. All you need is weather stripping and a can of caulk. The weather stripping should be used around the edge of the door to make an airtight seal when it’s closed. Before caulking air leaks around doors and windows, scrape away any old caulk and clean the surface. If you don’t have a caulk gun look for silicon or latex caulk in a squeezable tube.
Swap Out Incandescent Bulbs
Every time you need to replace a light bulb bypass the energy hungry incandescent bulbs. They may be a little cheaper upfront, but over the long-term they are much more expensive than LED and compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.
On average CFLs use 70% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last years longer. LEDs last about 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use around 80% less energy.
Use Eco-Friendly Home Décor
Your interior design can also have an influence on energy use. Eco-friendly home décor can refer to the items in the home as well as how they are used.
A perfect example of this is houseplants. Putting plants indoors can help improve air quality and also balance humidity. The latter is important in regulating the temperature and comfort of a room. Curtains and blinds are another way home décor can be used to improve energy efficiency. They can be opened and closed as needed to let light or outside heat inside.
Get an Energy Audit
If you’re unsure where to start or how to make improvements to reduce gas and electricity use an energy audit can help. Professional auditors will go over a home from the roof to the foundation to uncover areas where there’s energy waste. They can also provide solutions and advice on how to optimize energy use in the home.