Are you the proud owner of a home?
With home ownership comes much joy, but also much responsibility. From maintenance and care, to paying for the mortgage, bills and the odd repair or upgrade – there are so many things to be accounted for as a homeowner.
Lucky for you, with a few lifestyle changes and home upgrades, you can enjoy a more efficient approach to the energy consumption within your home! Let’s take a look at 22 of the best home energy savings tips, to help you make a positive impact on the planet – and your wallet!
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Your Energy Consumption
While there are many upgrades that can be made to your home to help reduce energy consumption, it really does begin and end with you. Certain behaviours, actions and habits can make a significant impact on your energy consumption, believe it or not!
If your energy bills could benefit from a decrease, here are some of the best lifestyle changes to implement!
Turn off the Lights
Simple, quick and effective.
Turning off the lights is one of the easiest ways to help reduce your energy consumption. Every time you or a member of your family leaves a room or level of the house, encourage them to scan the area for any lights that could be turned off.
For some, this is easier said than done. There are a few things that you can do to help remember to turn off the lights, such as leaving a sticky note in the doorway or simply reminding them. Eventually your family members will create this helpful habit and lights will no longer be left on, using energy that could otherwise be saved!
Use Appliances During Off-Peak Hours
Do you have off-peak hours for energy consumption?
While off-peak energy usage hours can vary based on factors such as time of year and your location, for the most part the best time to use electricity in Ontario is between 7 PM and 7 AM.
We would suggest waiting to run loads of laundry or the dishwasher until these times, if you’re looking to cut costs on energy usage! For more information, contact your energy providers.
Find the Perfect Temperature
The temperature within your home is much like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Not too cold, not too hot, but just right!
In the summertime, it can be tempting to turn your home into an ice box. It’s the perfect escape from the daunting summer heat, after all! Unfortunately this can put a lot of stress on your home cooling system and generally sends your energy bills sky high. To help combat this, we suggest a little trial and error to find the perfect temperature that keeps your house comfortable for all.
The same can be said for heating in the winter! With a little trail and error, you can find a temperature that keeps your family and home warm, without receiving an unfavourable heating bill in the mail.
Consider Smart Plugs
Take an innovative approach to your energy consumption with the use of smart plugs!
Smart plugs come in many different varieties, but offer the same brilliant approach. Simply plug them into your electrical outlet, and then plug your charger, lamp or other electricity-powered item into it. Once in use, you will be able to use your smart home system or smart phone to control from afar.
For instance, turn off a light or set a timer for your fan to reduce energy usage. All with help from a little technology!
Switch to a Laptop
Did you know that a traditional desktop computer generally uses more energy than a laptop? Consider switching from a tower and screens to just a laptop. Or a laptop that can be connected to one or multiple screens when needed!
Change Your Filters Regularly
Believe it or not, changing the filters in your various home systems regularly can have an impact on your energy usage. You most likely have filters as part of your HVAC system, water heater, dryer, and refrigerator.
By switching out these filters regularly with clean and fresh replacements, you can take the additional stress away from the system, allowing it to work more efficiently and use less power.
Use a Ceiling Fan
Turning on the ceiling fan is one of the quickest and most effective approaches to cooling down an area within your home. Rather than adjusting the temperature throughout your home, simply turning on the ceiling fan can help to better regulate the cool air and provide your family members or guests with a cool breeze.
When using a ceiling fan, be sure to keep the blades clean and ensure that it is rotating in the correct direction, and at your preferred speed.
There’s no doubt about it, not many things can heat up a kitchen and living space quite like turning on the oven. Whether you’re using the stovetop or oven to cook, the radiating heat can most definitely affect the temperature within your home.
To cut costs on cooling your home during the summer months, we suggest taking your cooking endeavours outdoors! Whether you’re using a traditional grill, charcoal BBQ or fire pit, you can cook delicious food without heating up your home.
Use a Bathroom Fan
After a shower or bath, it’s hard to ignore the humidity within your bathroom. By turning on the fan in your bathroom, the heat, moisture and humidity will be transferred outside. This is an efficient approach to regulating the temperature within certain areas of your home, taking the stress off of your cooling system.
Not only that, but it can also help to reduce the amount of time that moisture remains on the surfaces within your bathroom – helping to improve the scent and reduce the risk of mold.
Air Dry Clothes When Possible
Take the stress off your dryer and wallet the next time you do a load of laundry. Instead, take your clothes directly outside from the washing machine and hang to dry! While a clothesline is helpful for drying your clothing outdoors, a clothing rack can also prove to be quite effective as well.
Afterwards, you can always place the clothing into your dryer and run a quick cycle to soften the fibres and remove any wrinkles.
Wash Laundry with Cold Water
Did you know that washing laundry in hot or warm water can use additional energy? To help lower your energy costs and usage, opt to wash your clothing in cold water. Of course this can vary, as some loads of laundry may require warm or hot water for sanitation purposes.
Depending on your washing machine, you may have a number of options to choose from, such as cold, cool or tap. In the winter months, you may want to opt for a tap or warm temperature, as very cold water may cause damage.
Hire a Professional for Heating, Cooling and Ventilation Maintenance
Maintaining the heating, cooling and ventilation systems within your home can have an impact on your energy usage. By keeping these systems in tip-top shape, you can ensure an efficient operation that results in fewer energy costs and even a reduced risk of urgent, or larger, repairs.
The 10 Best Home Updates to Lower Your Energy Usage
Along with a number of lifestyle changes, there are many home updates that you can make to help lower your energy usage.
1. Smart Thermostat
Enjoy an innovative approach to heating and cooling your home with a Smart Thermostat. Not only can you maximize your energy savings with an at-a-glance view, but you can also view and adjust the temperature from afar.
2. Install Curtains, Blinds or Window Treatments
With the right window coverings, you can help improve the temperature regulation within your home, keeping the cold or hot air outside, depending on the time of year.
Certain window treatments, blinds or curtains can prove to be highly effective in this area, all while blocking out the light on days where you would like to sleep in.
3. Low-Flow Faucets and Showerheads
Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth and taking quick showers can help to reduce your water usage. But, these good habits can only help so much. And there will come a day when a longer shower is warranted!
To help limit wasted water and water usage in general, consider installing low-flow faucets and showerheads throughout your home! There are many brands, styles and options to shop from.
One of the simplest ways to reduce your energy consumption and regulate the temperature within your home is ensuring that it is properly sealed and insulated. We suggest starting with the access points, such as doors, windows and even the garage. From there, keep an eye out for interior and exterior cracks, sealing as needed.
To take sealing your entry points one step further, we suggest installing weather stripping on your exterior doors and garage door. Not only can this help to prevent cool or hot air from escaping, but it can also reduce noise travel.
5. Invest in Energy Star Appliances
Energy Star certified products undergo vigorous testing to ensure long-term efficiency. When shopping for products and appliances, look for the Energy Star certified messaging to help reduce energy consumption for years to come!
6. Choose Energy-Efficient Lighting
Did you know that certain light bulbs, lighting systems and light fixtures can use less energy than others? When shopping for lighting, opt for options that offer an energy-efficient experience. More often than not, these products will also last for longer.
7. Upgrade the HVAC System
An outdated HVAC system can be troublesome for many reasons, including a poor experience and difficulty with temperature regulation. Not only can it cost greatly to repair and maintain an outdated system, but it can also be costly to run them, as well.
Here are some signs that it’s time to upgrade your HVAC system:
- It’s 15+ years old
- It makes strange sounds
- It turns on and off
- Poor temperature regulation
- Your energy bills are sky high
For help finding the right HVAC system for your home and lifestyle, contact our experts at Service 1st Heating & Cooling today!
8. Use an Efficient Water Heater
Did you know that your water heater is one of the top sources of energy usage within your home? Without help from an efficient water heater, you could potentially be looking at a real burden on your wallet and the environment.
When shopping for a water heater, be sure to ask about the energy-efficient options available to you.
9. Get Strategic with Landscaping
Believe it or not, your landscaping can have an impact on the temperature regulation of your home. For instance, a tree or multiple trees planted on the sunny side of your house can help to block light and provide shade. We suggest opting for Oak, Birch or Maple, as they can shield your home and tolerate the sun. It’s a win win!
Another strategic choice is to install your air conditioning unit in a place that offers shade. If your unit has already been installed, or there are limited places to install it, planting bushes or a small tree to offer shade. This will help to keep the unit cool, reducing the energy needed to cool itself down on hot and sunny days.
10. Install New Windows or Doors
Installing new windows and doors can truly help to give your home a new look. Curb appeal aside, these investments can also help to better insulate your home, effectively reducing heating and cooling bills!
When installing, consider adding window coverings and ensuring that the entry point is effectively sealed, to really ensure that your investment pays off.
How Service 1st Heating & Cooling Can Help
Are you looking for new ways to cut costs around your home? With Service 1st Heating and Cooling, we are dedicated to the enjoyment, safety and functionality of your home. Our team of professionals can work with you to create an energy-efficient home, all while keeping your heating, cooling and ventilation systems in impeccable condition.
For more information or help getting started, get in touch with us today!