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Energy efficiency tips for your home

Man installing thermal roof insulation layer - using mineral wool panels. Attic renovation and insulation concept

March 21, 2019. You can make your home more energy efficient, save money on your bills, and reduce your impact on the environment by doing a few simple things or investing in upgrades for your home.

Simple energy saving tips that will not cost you anything

  • Turn down the heat

Turn down the heat by a degree or two, or more when you are not home, put rugs on exposed floors for insulation, and keep the heat off in rooms that are not in use.

  • Use your appliances efficiently

Wash your clothes in cold water and hang them to dry, unplug the second fridge if you have one,

and let dishes dry instead of using the drying cycle on the dishwasher

  • Unplug electronics when you are not using them

They still consume power even when turned off if they are plugged in.

  • Take shorter showers

You will use a lot less water over the course of year if you shorten your showers even by a few minutes.

  • Fix leaks

A leaky tap will waste a lot of water if you do not fix it.

Green upgrades

You can upgrade your home to be even more energy efficient by:

  • Upgrading to energy efficient heating and cooling systems.

60% of a home’s energy bill is from heating and switching to Energy Star heating and cooling systems can help you save up to $325/year. Look for High efficiency furnaces and boilers that are Energy star certified.

  • Switching to LED light bulbs

Getting Energy Star fixtures and LED light bulbs will reduce the energy needed to light your home by 75%.

  • Upgrading to high efficiency appliances

Energy efficient kitchen appliances are a good idea and add to the resale value of a house. Fridges and ovens use a lot of energy so consider replacing them with Energy Star rated appliances.

  • Making the water system more efficient

Turn down the water heater when you go on vacation or get a tankless heater, which heats water only on demand.

  • Installing new windows and doors or sealing the existing ones

Look for Energy Star products and get storm doors and windows. About 20% of the heat that is lost from your house escapes through openings around your doors, windows, and skylights. Make sure to replace old weather stripping and caulking. Reducing drafts can save you 5% - 30% of your energy bill per year.

  • Using ceiling fans instead of air conditioners

Ceiling fans use less power than air conditioners.

  • Installing a programmable thermostat

By setting the thermostat to lower the temperature by 10-15% for 8 hours a day can save you up to 10% on your heating bill per year.

  • Adding insulation to the attic

Adding insulation to the attic, crawl space, or basement is a quick and cost-effective way to lower your energy cost.

  • Making sure ducts are sealed

If there are gaps or holes in your ducts you can lose a lot of heated air to unheated spaces before it ever gets to the register.

  • Installing low flow toilets, shower heads, and taps

Reducing the amount of water you use will reduce your bill and environmental impact.

  • Installing solar panels

By installing solar panels, you will be able to create your own power and even sell power back to the grid.

There are government programs and tax credits available for green upgrades to your home. For example, starting in 2019 the Alberta Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program will help homeowners upgrade their homes by financing the entire cost with $0 down, low interest, a long amortization period, and repayments that will be billed with property tax. The loan is attached to the property, not the homeowner. It can be used to finance solar power, insulation, window, and door upgrades and high efficiency heating and cooling system upgrades.