With the winter coming to an end, and with the extra time that we have all spent home this past year, many of us have seen an increase in our energy bills. It’s always a good idea to review your bills when you have some time and figure out how to reduce those expenses. When it comes to energy, there are so many quick fixes that you can do in your home that will reduce the amount of energy it takes to heat it.
1. Install a door sweep
Installing a door sweep to not only your entrance to your home but also to any doors that attach to a garage can trap a lot of potentially lost heat. Doors are a large area in which heat is lost, so this tip is a no brainer. Don’t forget to also weatherstrip any glass sliding doors.
2. Install a door on your fireplace.
When you are not using your fireplace, a serious amount of heat can escape from the chimney. Adding a glass door that is tight fitted could aid in keeping the heat in. When you are not using the fireplace, simply shut the door.
3. Caulk those windows
Use silicone caulk to seal the outside of the window frames and weather-strip between the sash. Sealing the window frames can conserve heat as air typically leaks through these cracks. Caulking your windows will also make your home more durable to the elements. If this doesn’t seem to be enough, you may want to consider replacing single pane windows for double or triple pane, which can be up to 5 times more efficient at conserving energy.
4. Install a programmable thermostat
We would be lying if we said we remembered to check the thermostat every night before bed. If you own a programmable thermostat, program it to lower 7 or 8 degrees for at least 8 hours a day - this will be probably when you are sleeping. This has been shown to cut heating costs by approximately 10 percent a year!
5. Downsize your cooking
Whenever you can avoid it, do not use your oven. Microwaves, toasters and toaster ovens function at a fraction of the energy cost of an oven. Try to make suppers in a crock or instant pot instead, which can be as delicious as an oven-baked meal.
6. Take care of your dryer
The average person spends about 200$ a year on electricity just to use their dryer. Dryers typically use more energy when they are not cared for properly. If the vent is not clean, the lint screen is not clean or is there is debris under or around the dryer, it will not function efficiently and will use more energy to compensate.
7. Switch out your shower head
Switch to a low-flow showerhead and reduce the time that you shower can save you over 100$ a year in energy costs. If you switch to a 2.5 gallon-per-minute shower head and only shower for 10 minutes, you could be saving 5 gallons of water each time, and that is 5 gallons less that needs to be heated
8. Add Motion Sensors/Smart Switches to lights
Installing smart switches will completely eliminate the loss of energy due to forgetting to turn off the lights after leaving a room or coming inside. Motion sensors on your porch lights outdoors also double as a great security feature as they will light up when anyone approaches, potentially warding off possible intruders.
9. Use your curtains to your advantage
Curtains are great at stabilizing indoor temperatures, as a lot of heat can escape through windows. In the winter, your curtains will aid in trapping heated air indoors, and prevent cold air from coming in. In the summer, those same curtains will keep your air-conditioned air within your home.
10. Switch your lightbulbs
Traditional light bulbs consume a lot of energy. Switch all of the light bulbs in your home to Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) or Light-Emitting Diode Bulbs (LEDs) to use 80% less energy. These newer types of bulbs also tend to last at least triple the length of time in comparison to older styles.
Our province has some great programs in place to help Nova Scotians save on electricity. For low-income families, check out the Home Warming Program to have energy-saving technology installed at no cost to you. For others, (even renters), check out Efficiency NS for some free upgrades to your space to save on your power bill.