In the last decade, climate change and energy efficiency have become top of mind for many Canadians. From wanting to do our part by recycling to making our home as energy efficient as possible, there are so many benefits to being environmentally and energy conscious.
If you are looking to cut costs or simply want to reduce your eco footprint, here are some great ways to cut your energy costs!
1. Get a Smart Thermostat: A pretty easy installation, a smart thermostat can help you better manage your in-home temperature. Whether you opt to install a basic programmable thermostat or try the Google’s Nest, which learns from you and works to predict which temperatures you prefer and when, getting a read on your in-home temperature can help you better manage your energy usage.
2. Look for Drafty Spots: When it comes to heating your home, it can quickly become a wasted effort and results in extra costs if you have drafts in your home. In addition to windows and doors, you should also seal any folding attic stairs, add a fireplace plug to seal the damper and install a dryer vent seal to reduce drafts in your laundry room.
3. Swap to LEDs: Most of us are already using LED bulbs throughout our home. If you aren’t yet, now is the time to make the switch! LED bulbs use 15% less energy than an equivalent incandescent, which can save you a ton of money each month especially in larger homes.
4. Turn Down Your Water Heater: While sometimes nothing beats a good scalding shower, you don’t want to be burned with a high energy bill. Did you know if you knock down that temperature gauge by just 10 degrees, you can save 3% to 5% on your bills each month!?
5. Examine Your Appliances: Since 1992, ENERGY STAR® has been backing energy efficient appliances and products, helping consumers make the right choices. Some of the least green appliances in your home are your dishwasher, washing machine, dryer and refrigerator and, if you don’t currently have Energy Star certified versions of these machines, swapping to them is a sure-fire way to reduce your monthly expenses.
Can’t afford new appliances? Here are some other tips and tricks to help make them more efficient in the meantime:
- Dishwasher: Use a citric acid-based cleaner in an empty cycle to rid your dishwasher of excess soap and calcium buildup that may be causing your machine to work harder.
- Washing Machine: Maximize energy by stuffing your machine to the brim whenever possible as washing machines typically use the same amount of energy regardless of load size.
- Dryer: For starters, ensure you are always cleaning out your lint filter to increase air circulation. In addition, keep an eye on the outside exhaust and clean when needed to reduce drying time and save energy.
- Refrigerator: While most of us are more concerned with the food inside our fridges than the parts, it is important to check your condenser coils. Over time, dirt, food particles and dust can collect and reduce the efficiency. Another tip is to set your refrigerator to 36- and 38-degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Close The Blinds: When the temperature starts heating up, it is important to close the blinds and drapes to prevent the sun from beating in and warming up your home. The excessive heat makes your air conditioner work overtime causing your energy bills to skyrocket.
In addition to the cost savings and environmental benefits of improving your energy efficiency, CMHC also has a rebate available! This rebate can provide a 15-25% insurance premium rebate on buying new or performing renovations that meet energy efficiency standards! Click here for more details.
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