Did you know that you can save hundreds of dollars per year by changing a few simple habits? There are tons of easy things you can do to conserve on energy like being sure to turn off the lights, taking shorter showers, washing your dishes by hand, etc. It just makes sense to outfit your home to help you save on these costs. It will also make your home more appealing to future buyers! Check out these 10 ways to save on your energy bills!
Consuming less energy will not only save you money, but it is also good for the environment too!
So read on to start saving!
By now, most of us know what the Google Nest and Ecobee smart thermostats are. These savvy little devices can help you to save on your heating and cooling bills much like any other programmable thermostat. But, the thing about smart thermostats is they can also get to know your schedule and adjust your temperature accordingly so you don’t have to think about it. No more forgetting to program the thermostat! You can also control the temperature from your phone. Some can even change your temperature to go with your current weather conditions. Standard programmable thermostats save energy only if they have been correctly programmed. Because of the smart habits these thermostats can learn, you should see a fairly big difference on your heating and cooling bills. If you are an Enbridge Gas customer, you can even apply for a $75 rebate when you upgrade to a smart thermostat!
Taking shorter showers will definitely use less hot water, but sometimes its just nice to enjoy your showers! This is why you might want to purchase a new showerhead that will use less water. For maximum efficiency, you will want to select a showerhead with a flow rate of 2.5gpm or less. Older showerheads from before 1992 had flow rates of 5.5gpm which are way less efficient today. If you have an older showerhead in your home, you will want to make sure to update it to use less water. A great way you can test how much water your showerhead uses is to place a bucket under your showerhead, turn on your shower at normal pressure, and then time how many seconds it takes to fill the bucket to the 3.8L mark. If it takes 20 seconds to reach the mark, you will definitely benefit from a low-flow showerhead! Check out these low-flow showerheads from Home Depot.
Did you know that the Ontario government rebate program has made energy-efficient products more affordable for Ontario residents? For a full list of the appliances and products that are cheaper, check out the following link. There is everything from your regular appliances to ceiling fans and electric vehicle chargers. Purchasing an ENERGY STAR certified appliance will greatly reduce your energy costs. These products help consumers save money on operating costs by reducing energy use without sacrificing performance. They can also help to reduce carbon pollution and greenhouse emissions. It just makes sense to upgrade to ENERGY STAR if one of your appliances breaks down! Check for the ENERGY STAR blue sticker on appliances before you buy.
Most of your laundry doesn’t care if it has a warm bath or not, so you might as well wash the clothing in cold water and save on your energy! Washing with cold water will still remove many stains including grass and makeup and actually works better for getting blood and sweat stains out of clothing. Hot water tends to shrink, fade and wrinkle certain fabrics, so cold water washing may even be better for your clothing! An estimated 75%-90% of all the energy your washer uses goes towards heating up your water, so making the switch to cold water can significantly lower your energy bills. There are certain fabrics that should be washed in warm water though, so be sure to check your tags!
Door drafts are annoying pests that whistle in the night and consume more energy. These pests will cause your heating system to work harder to keep your home’s temperature up to normal. Simply adding weatherstripping around your doors is an easy solution for fixing the issue. According to ENERGY STAR, adding weatherstripping to your doors can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling costs. Remember that if you are going to install weatherstripping, it needs to be done correctly for it to work properly. Be sure to take measurements and clean your door jamb with soap and water first. Generally speaking, rubber weatherstripping is the most durable, but foam or felt will also do the trick. After you install your weatherstripping, you will also want to make sure to install a door sweep. This will provide a strong air seal to prevent air from escaping. Check out this step-by-step guide to install your own weatherstripping.
LED lighting is highly energy efficient using less heat and giving more light at a fraction of the cost of incandescent. Did you know that LED lights use 85% less electricity than conventional lighting? LED lights are easy to install and you can start saving money immediately! Not to mention, LED lightbulbs and lamps outlast their competitors by up to 15 times! A typical LED lamp has a lifetime of 25,000 hours which is over 22 years if used for 3 hours per day! Older light bulbs would last around 1-2 years, so this is a huge difference! LED lighting has become more affordable over the past few years and much more stylish! There are tons of different styles of LED that you can choose from. A perfect one for every room! These bulbs run much cooler as well which makes them a safer choice for your home. If you are using them outdoors, they also attract fewer insects making your outdoor entertaining so much more enjoyable!
Your washer and dryer are the biggest energy-consuming appliances in your home. Washing your clothing by hand would definitely be a real burden, but hanging your clothing on a rack or clothesline really isn’t that difficult! Air drying doesn’t take all that long and it will save you around $0.50 per load. It doesn’t seem significant but it can surely add up year over year. ENERGY STAR washers and dryers can surely save on energy but nothing will work as well as using a drying rack. Even if you only use the drying rack every so often or for your towels and cloths. The larger, heavier items take a longer time to dry, so you might as well save your dryer’s energy and hang them up instead. A clothesline is great for the summer months, but a drying rack works just fine in the cooler months of the year.
Though your devices may be turned off, if they are plugged in, they are still using energy. Smart power strips can detect when a device is turned off and will cut off all power going into it to save energy. Advanced power strips look like regular power strips, so be sure to look for the energy monitoring ones. These handy little devices can significantly lower the amount of electricity being drained from your electronics. There are many different types of smart strips including timed strips, remote-controlled strips, strips that can connect to your phone or just a regular smart strip. Of course, each of these options varies in price, but they are sure to save you money in the long run! Alternatively, you can get into the habit of turning off your power bars when you are not using whatever is plugged into them.
Though heat drying your dishwasher works a little faster, it is definitely eating into your energy consumption. The heat drying cycle on your dishwasher uses at least 15% more energy than air drying. The air-drying fan in your dishwasher uses minimal energy compared to the heating element that works hard to dry the dishes. The heating element can also take years off of your overall machine’s lifecycle because of how hard it needs to work. So not only will you be saving energy and money, you will also be saving your machine so you don’t have to replace it as often! Be aware that the air drying cycle will not work as well as the heating cycle, and you may find small pools of water and moisture built up on some of your bowls and cups. But, if you are running your dishwasher at nighttime anyway (which is when you will save the most money), what’s another hour or two to dry the dishes before morning?
Ceiling fans can save you tons of money on your heating and cooling costs. You probably know to have the direction of your fan rotating counterclockwise during the summer months and clockwise during the winter months. Why do this? Because when it is hot outside, you want a breeze and when it is cool outside, you want to suck that cool air up and push down the warmer air that has risen to the top! Using a fan in the summertime can decrease your air conditioning bills by up to 40% and in the wintertime by up to 15% on your heating bills. Your air conditioning costs around $0.36 per hour vs. a ceiling fan that will cost you roughly $0.01 per hour to run, so you are sure to save some money by using the fan instead.
Remember that each one of these tips is going to help you save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. The initial savings may be low, but they absolutely add up over the course of living in your home year after year. We hope we have been able to help you save a little bit of money in your home and be a little greener too.
Looking for some easy home upgrades, check out our great article which can be found here!
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