Being smarter with your energy use saves you money on your bill and is less wasteful of our planet’s resources. While some energy-saving changes in the home require a larger investment, there are plenty of small things any homeowner can do to make a difference. Here are our top 7 energy saving tips!
1. Switch to LED Light Bulbs
Swapping out regular light bulbs for LEDs is an easy way to reduce your energy use. LEDs require less wattage and last longer than incandescent bulbs, making them a much more efficient option. Remember to turn off your lights when they’re not in use, and try to only use natural lighting throughout the day if possible.
2. Use Cold Water for Laundry
Use cold water whenever possible, as this reduces the energy needed to heat the water. Most often, cold water is just as effective especially when using a cold water detergent. Always run a full load, and hang items to dry instead of using the dryer to save even more.
3. Seal Air Leaks
One of the most common energy inefficiencies at home is air leaks. These commonly occur in cracks or small openings around windows and doors. Ensuring that any leaks are sealed will help improve the temperature regulation of your home, requiring less input from your furnace or A/C. When the time comes to replace your windows, consider investing in efficient windows that reduce the loss of heat or cool air in your home. Use shades to block the heat of the sun in summer, and allow the sun in during winter to help keep things warm.
4. Air-Dry Your Dishes
Allowing your dishes to air dry after running them through the dishwasher instead of using the heat dry setting will greatly reduce your energy usage and costs. Alternatively, as you unload the dishwasher you can use a tea towel to hand-dry each dish.
5. Unplug Electronics
Don’t leave devices plugged in longer than necessary (i.e. overnight); normally, it takes no more than a couple hours to fully charge a phone or laptop. Turning off or unplugging devices when not in use can also reduce the amount of energy they drain in standby mode.
6. Keep Your Fridge Stocked
Keeping your fridge and freezer fully stocked (but not overstuffed) helps it keep things cooler without using as much energy. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended settings for temperature. Ideally, your fridge should be between 3 °C – 5 °C and your freezer should be around -15 °C. Some fridges have a vacation mode which you can use when you’re away and won’t be opening the door for a few days.
7. Set Your Thermostat Appropriately
Instead of cranking your thermostat up or down when you want to change the temperature, simply set it at the temperature you want and allow it to take the time to acclimatize. In colder weather, layer up at home instead of turning up the heat higher than necessary. In warmer months, avoid using the oven to help keep your home cool; instead, opt for dishes like fresh salads and smoothies, or use the BBQ outside.