Increasing your home’s energy efficiency means using less power to do the same things, such as heating and cooling your home. Doing so will help cut your carbon footprint and save you money. Who doesn’t want to save money on their utility bills?
So, here’s what you can do to increase your home’s energy efficiency this season. For more information, get the help of a certified energy advisor, like Home Energy Toronto.
1. Replace or top-up your attic’s insulation
A well-insulated attic promotes efficiency because your HVAC system will not have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you want. The insulation will prevent air from leaking out and vice versa. The heat of the summer will not be absorbed into the home. If you’re not sure about your attic’s insulation, have a professional come and inspect it. Insulation wears out with time. You may be due for a top-up or a complete replacement.
2. Maintain the furnace
Your furnace is responsible for heating the air in your home. While you may not give it much thought, it is important that you maintain the furnace so that it works at its best. Clean or replace its filter every three months, and have it serviced by a technician every year. A professional can safely clean the parts you cannot see yourself and let you know if there is anything wrong.
3. Fix drafty windows
Check your windows and doors for drafts by holding a lit candle in front of them. If it flickers, there is a draft. Seal cracks in the frames with silicone caulking and puts weatherstripping on the bottoms of your doors. You can also add locks to your windows and apply an insulating film to their panes to increase efficiency. Use heavy drapes in the winter to help keep the rooms warm.
4. Clean your appliances
Appliances that require ventilation work harder when their vents are clogged with dust. Clean out the vent at the back of your refrigerator and empty the dryer exhaust vent every 6 months so they can work more efficiently.
5. Seal ductwork to prevent leakage
Use your duct tape for its namesake and seal the joints in your ductwork. Hot air can escape through these joints and be wasted in unused areas, such as an unfinished basement. If you can reach them, put some tape on the joints of your ductwork.
Other Tips to Save You Money
1. Run large appliances in the evening
Most utility providers charge more during business hours so try using large appliances during evenings and weekends. Turn on the dishwasher after 7 pm, and plan for laundry duty on the weekend. You can also try to shorten these cycles or use them less frequently.
2. Hang your clothes outside
Dryers use a lot of energy because they spin and produce heat. Hang your clothes outside to save you money in the summertime. Your T-Shirts will thank you, too. The dryer is harsh on many fabrics, so hanging your clothes up instead will help them last longer. Wool, nylon, athletic fibers, bras, and bathing suits should always be hung up to dry.
3. Adjust the thermostat for when you are away
Turn the thermostat up or down when you know that you will be away for a few days. Turn it up a few degrees in the summer and turn it down a few degrees in the winter. There is no need to keep a comfortable temperature when you are not around. Depending on where you live, your HVAC system accounts for roughly half your energy bill. That’s a lot of money!
4. Automate your usage
Smart thermostats and programmable power bars will help you save by adjusting to your schedule. For example, in the summer, you can have the thermostat turn the temperature up while you are at work and turn it back down again when you are home in the evening. Programmable power bars can reduce phantom power consumption by turning electronics off at night.
5. Invest in ceiling fans
Ceiling fans will save you money on air conditioning. Instead of turning the temperature down before you go to bed, try using a ceiling fan. The breeze of the fan will make you feel much cooler. You can find a variety of ceiling fans at affordable prices online and in hardware stores.