Five tips for a more energy-efficient home
An energy-efficient home is a house that uses less energy. By saving energy, you reduce household expenses and contribute to protecting the environment… without sacrificing comfort.
1. Change your incandescent bulbs to Compact Fluorescent lightbulbs
Compact Fluorescent lightbulbs not only use 75% less energy, they also last 10 times longer than incandescent lightbulbs. They are available in a wide range of shapes: spiral twist, candle, globe, reflector as well as regular. You can find one to meet most of your lighting needs – from the basement to the attic – at a low cost for both your wallet and the environment!
2. Install a low flow shower head
The shower head runs a close second to the toilet as the greatest waster of water in a home. Some shower heads can use 15 to 20 litres of water per minute which, obviously, greatly increases the cost of heating water. A low flow shower head uses only 5 litres of water per minute, on average, without affecting your well-being.
3. Opt for ENERGY STAR qualified appliances
ENERGY STAR qualified appliances are energy champions! These appliances, whether a washing machine, dryer, refrigerator or freezer, exceed minimum Government of Canada energy efficiency standards by 10% to 50%. According to Natural Resources Canada, ENERGY STAR qualified appliances can save families about a third on their energy bill with similar savings of greenhouse gas emissions.
4. Heat the inside, not the outside!
Draft proofing windows with caulking and weather stripping is relatively inexpensive and can help you save big time. During the cold season, open your window blinds and curtains to let in the warmth of the sun, but remember to close them as soon as darkness falls. To help circulate heat through your house, install ceiling fans.
In line with devices designed to save energy and increase comfort are electronic thermostats. Replacing your old thermostats with electronic thermostats could help you save up to 10% a year on heating costs.
5. Reduce energy consumption in standby mode
Standby power (or sleep mode) refers to the energy that continues to be consumed by electronic and electric appliances even when they are switched off. Inconspicuously, standby mode accounts for 5% to 10% of your electricity bill every year, not to mention its significant environmental impact. To reduce your standby power consumption, choose ENERGY STAR qualified products and follow these guidelines:
- Plug your home electronics (computer, monitor, printer…) into a power bar and turn it off when they’re not in use.
- Unplug battery chargers when not currently in use, for example your cell phone charger.
- Unplug electronic devices that you don’t use often, such as a second TV set or a stereo.