Many have seen electrical and gas bills increase over the past few years. Plus we all want to do our part in being efficient with how we use our energy resources. The good news is that there are some actions each of us can take that actually can lower energy use (and costs) without affecting our daily lives! Here are some great tips on how to lower energy costs and still stay warm as we head into late fall.
Heating – 65 percent of household energy costs come from heating and cooling. Now is the time to make sure your furnace is operating at its best.
- Schedule an annual maintenance inspection by a qualified professional.
- Change or clean your furnace filters as recommended. A dirty air filter causes your furnace to run longer for the same amount of heat.
- Make sure vents are clean and unobstructed by carpets or furniture.
- Close doors and heating vents from empty rooms in your home
- Consider buying a high-efficiency furnace.
Windows and Doors
- Inspect windows and doors for gaps that let cold air in and let heated air escape. This accounts for 25% of your heating costs.
- Repair these gaps with weather-stripping and caulking. They are inexpensive and easy do-it-yourself projects.
- In winter, open your curtains during the day to let sunlight in and help add heat.
Lights and Power
- Switching to LED bulbs can cut your electricity use by up to 75%. LEDs last much longer and stay cool.
- Keeping televisions, computers and phones plugged in draws electricity even if the devices aren’t in use. This is called phantom power.
- Plug all of your electronic devices in power bars, and turn the entire power bar off when you leave the house.
- Run your dishwasher during off-peak hours and cut the cost of electricity by 50%. Use the air-dry setting or leave the door open to naturally dry the dishes for additional savings.
- About 25% of all household hot water is used for washing clothes. With today’s advanced cold water detergents, wash and rinse everything in cold water and in one year, you could save enough energy for about 220 showers.
Manage your Thermostat
- Install and use a programmable thermostat. This makes it easy to increase/decrease the temperature when you are away, and warm your home only when needed.
- Use a furnace fan to help circulate air through your home on cold days.
- In winter, lower the temperature of your home by 1°C over a seven-hour period. You won’t feel the difference but you’ll see a difference on your heating bill.
- Lower the temperature at night.
- Insulate your body as well as your home. Dress in layers when you’re inside and take advantage of today’s great fabrics that keep the moisture out and the heat in – choose wool/silk/polyester fleece over cotton or nylon.