With rising costs of heating and electricity bills, more homeowners are looking for ways to make their dollar go a little further. The following are some simple yet effective ways to make your home energy efficient, saving you money in the long run.
Turn the heat down: Turning your thermostat down even slightly can make a difference. Every degree of heat below 20 degrees Celsius will save you approximately 3- 5% in your energy bill. If you have a programmable thermostat, set is lower during the times you are typically away from your home or sleeping. Also, remember to change your furnace filter once a month or as needed.
Stop drafts: A little weather stripping goes a long ways towards preventing heat from escaping your home in the cooler months. Also check around windows or anywhere you feel a draft and plug those gaps. Adding new or additional insulation to your ceilings, attic and walls will make a huge difference to the warmth of your home.
Updating appliances: Older appliances are far less energy efficient than new models. When it’s time to make a change, research the market for appliances that are most energy efficient.
Turn the hot water tank down: It’s not necessary to have the temperature turned up past 60 degrees Celsius (140 F). You will still have adequate hot water and at the same time trim your costs. A high efficiency on-demand water heater is best as they fire up only when you call for hot water.
Low cost fixtures: Low flow toilets, shower heads and washing machines can save a lot of water. As an aside, did you know that turning off the tap while brushing your teeth and turning the shower off just a few minutes sooner can save gallons of water? An easy thing to do!
Use your appliances efficiently: Use the washing machine and dishwasher only when you have full loads. Air dry dishes and hang clothes to dry to save even more.
Unplug those appliances: Appliance draw lots of power even when they are in standby mode. Plug appliances such as tv, computer, lamps, coffee maker, etc. into a power bar and switch off when not in use. Between 5% and 10% of your residential electricity is sapped by devices that are plugged in 24 hours a day. And it’s the cumulative effect of having so many devices plugged in around the clock that can really add up – hurting your efforts to be eco-friendly and cost conscious.
Switch to fluorescent: Although compact fluorescent bulbs cost more initially, the end result is considerable savings. This is because fluorescent light bulbs last eight to twelve times longer than incandescent bulbs. Even using a mix of fluorescent and incandescent lighting throughout your home can have an impact in overall energy usage.
Plant trees: Planting trees outside your home by those windows that bring in the most heat will provide wonderful shade in the summer months and still allow the sun to stream in during the cooler winter months.
The window factor: If you are still dealing with aluminum frames, you may want to switch those out for vinyl frames which are much more resistant to heat transfer. And of course multiple paned argon gas-filled windows are very effective for keeping heat in and the cold out. And finally, you can have your windows tinted which will have a similar effect. Also consider covering your windows with heavy blinds to keep any drafts out. The most natural, efficient way to heat your home is allowing the rays of sunshine to stream through your windows. Of course keeping your windows clean and free of dirt and grime will give not only enhance your view, but will give you the most warmth.