Brookfield Residential first published this article. Brookfield Residential is committed to building energy-efficient houses. Learn more about our sustainability efforts and if you are interested in a new home.
You may have noticed an increase in home energy consumption, whether you are working, studying online, or simply spending more time at your home. However, excellent connectivity and reliance upon technology can come with a price.
A home that is energy efficient can reduce your energy consumption and help you save money on your energy bills. This is the perfect time to look at your home and find some energy-saving tips to help you lower your expenses.
Shades are a must
It is both cost-effective as well as environmentally friendly to save energy. According to the Utah State University Forestry Extension, you can save energy by planting suitable trees in the right places around your home. Certain trees and shrubs offer shade and wind protection, which can help lower energy consumption.
Use Standby Power Electronics
Many electronics don’t have to be plugged in 24 hours a day. It’s a good idea to unplug them when not in use. Natural Resources Canada reports that standby power mode (electronics that draw power even when not in use) can increase your electric bill by 5% to 10%.
Voicive a few examples of common electric standby power appliances:
Chargers for cell phones
Some wireless devices
To reduce energy consumption, you can use power management settings for devices with them. Advanced power bars, also known as “smart power bars”, can cut off power when devices are not being used.
Ventilation and fans are recommended
It is easy to save energy by using your ceiling fan to add air conditioning to your home (or to replace A/C entirely). According to Energy.gov, using your ceiling fan allows you to increase the temperature by about 4 degrees without reducing comfort. Ceiling fans should not be installed in rooms with less than 8 feet of ceiling height.
You can also use tabletop fans and box-shaped fans to fit in a window frame. Energy conservation can be achieved by using a fan that makes you feel more comfortable. If it is cooler outside than indoors, open the windows and shut off the air conditioner.
Replace Incandescent Bulbs
It’s time to replace your old light bulbs with LED bulbs. There are now low-energy bulbs that can be used for all lighting needs and moods in your home. They last longer and consume less energy. For more information, refer to the individual bulb packaging. You can save money by choosing bulbs with lower wattages.
To cool your home, use blinds or drapes
It is as simple as closing your blinds and drapes during the warmer months to save energy. Closing drapes on the sunny side can keep your home cool and save you money on your AC.
Open the shades during the winter to allow the natural sunlight to warm your home. You can reduce your electricity use by using natural light whenever possible.
Make sure you are monitoring your water usage
Making small changes in your water usage can reduce your water consumption and help you save money on your energy bills.
While brushing your teeth, turn off the water supply.
Reduce the time you spend in the shower or take a shorter bath.
Larger loads of laundry can be done in one load.
Make sure that your outdoor hoses have been turned off.
Water-leaking faucets, fittings, and hoses should be replaced.
You can use your thermostat efficiently
Comfortable temperatures without causing financial hardship have become a top priority as more people work from home.
The U.S. suggests that adjusting your temperature setting for eight hours per day can save you as much as 10% on your annual heating or cooling costs. DOE states. If you live in an area with low or no temperatures, you could save even more.
The DOE recommends that you maintain a temperature of 68° Fahrenheit/20 Celsius during cold months, and 78° Fahrenheit/26° Celsius during hot months. This can be done for an eight-hour period. The DOE points out that turning your air conditioner off when you are away and then cranking it up when you return home will not save energy or cool your home faster. You can adjust your heating or air conditioner to adjust the temperature according to the season.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature according to your schedule. Many models have a mobile app that lets you adjust the temperature remotely.
Programmable thermostats also help to reduce carbon emissions. NRCan reports these thermostats can help Canadians cut down on their heating bills by maximizing energy efficiency, particularly during off-peak hours.
Tighten Your Ductwork
A network of ducts distributes hot and cold air from your heating/cooling units throughout your home. Incorrectly sealed or insulated ducts could waste energy and cause you to spend a lot each year.
Check for leaks in the attic and vented crawl spaces. These are the areas where hot/cold air can escape, and they may not be obvious for a long time. Heating and cooling can be saved by closing vents or radiators in unoccupied rooms, such as guest rooms.
Insulation can be improved
Insulating your walls and attic, roof, foundation, and roof can help you save energy. You can decrease the heat/cold air that escapes your home by doing this. This can reduce energy consumption and help maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home.
Poor insulation can reduce the energy savings that you will get from installing thermally insulated windows and doors in your home. NRCan recommends retrofitting homes with better insulation before installing new thermal insulated doors and windows.
Make Large Appliances Work More Effectively
The more powerful the appliance is, the more energy it uses. Appliances that wash your clothes, dry dishes, cook, chill/freeze food, or heat it is all big troublemakers.
These larger appliances could be replaced with energy-efficient models featuring the Energy Star symbol. This symbol is used by both Canada and the U.S. to indicate appliances that meet or exceed their goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These energy-saving tips can help you save money if replacement is not possible.
Your fridge/freezer should always be stocked with food or drink. An empty fridge/freezer uses more energy.
Operate large appliances during off-peak energy hours.
Upgrade Windows and Exterior Doors
NRCan states that inadequate windows and doors can drain 25% to 25% of your heat. Drafty windows and doors can keep heat (or A/C), in your home and out of the cold/hot temperatures. Although it can be costly initially to replace windows and doors, the end result should be energy savings in the future.
NARCAN says that argon gas is used between the panes to insulate windows. This makes them the most efficient on the market. Low-E glass, insulated frames with sashes, and double to quadruple glazing are all options.
Get a paintbrush
Ceilings and walls painted in light colors reflect lighter. This makes rooms appear brighter and reduces the need to use higher-wattage bulbs. According to colormatters.com, light-colored roofing is a good option if you are looking to sell your home. Light exterior paint colors can also help to cool down your home.