November is in full swing, the days are shorter and it's starting to get colder... winter is definitely coming! Westport Properties Inc. wanted to share some great tips to help you save money on your energy bills. We have compiled this list of the top, easy-to-follow tips that are sure to keep more money in your wallet. And just in time for the Christmas season too.
1. Install a programmable thermostat
Never worry about forgetting to turn the heat down after you leave the house. Programmable and smart thermostats do it for you. Plus, you can save up to 15 per cent* on your home’s heating costs by programming it to 17 °C for when you’re out and asleep, and no higher than 20 °C when you’re home and awake.
2. Plant a shade tree
The best place is on the southwest or southeast side of your home. A deciduous tree that loses its leaves in the fall to allow in sunlight during the winter months is a good choice.
3. Change your heating system’s filter pronto!
You change your towels and sheets on a regular basis. Why not your furnace or heat pump filter? Like a dryer lint screen, a heating system filter clogs over time. Meaning it has to work longer which can equal extra energy costs. Check your filter on a monthly basis and replace it regularly, between one and six months, depending on if there are smokers and/or pets in the home. Use a tight-fitting pleated style filter for best results.
4. Use task lighting
You can save energy by reducing background lighting and focusing light right where it’s needed through the use of task lighting such as table lamps, track lighting and under-counter lights in work and hobby areas and in kitchens.
5. Turn off the lights when not in use
Consider installing occupancy sensors, timers or motion sensors to automatically control some of the lighting in your home
When shopping for new appliances consider choosing ENERGY STAR certified models. Fridges, freezers, clothes washers, dryers (gas and electric) and dishwashers deemed ENERGY STAR, use less energy than their standard efficiency counterparts. ENERGY STAR dishwashers and clothes washers also use less water than standard models.
7. Take shorter showers
Hot water is expensive. If two people in your home cut their shower time by a minute each, you could save $30 over a year.
8. Adjust your hot water heater
Turning down your water heater thermostat (no lower than 55ºC and no higher than 60ºC) can pay off in savings of up to 5% for every 6ºC.
9. Wash laundry in cold
By switching from hot to cold water for an average of three loads per week, you could save up to $27 per year on your energy bill.
10. Toss a towel in the dryer
A dry towel added to your dryer load can significantly reduce drying times. If you're doing seven loads a week this could save you $27 a year.
11. Skip the heat-dry setting for the dishwasher
That heat-dry setting is expensive. De-select it and, based on one load of dishes a day, save up to $37 for the year.
12. Unplug your second fridge
Unplug that second fridge and save up to $90 a year. Freeze plastic jugs of water and use them in a cooler when you need them.
13. Don't crowd your heating system
Leave space around your furnace or boiler and ensure there are no combustible materials stored nearby. Items like bleach, cleaning products and aerosols should be kept well away. Don’t place beds, drapery and furniture too close to baseboard heaters. Keep outdoor heat pump units free of vegetation and clutter to allow air to pass freely.
14. Make the most of natural light
A small amount of daylight can provide enough light for an entire room. Light coloured interiors also help make the most of natural daylight and other lighting.
15. Insulate hot water pipes
Insulate accessible water pipes located in unheated areas, such as basements and crawl spaces, with foam or rubber pipe insulation to help keep the water hot longer. The insulation will also help protect your pipes in cold snaps.
16. Leave the dishes
Run your dishwasher only when it's full to avoid wasting hot water and electricity. If hand-washing, rinse dishes in cold water. Better yet, use a basin of cold water instead of running the tap.
17. Fix leaky faucets
A hot water tap, dripping every second, wastes 720 litres of water per month, or about 14 hot baths.** A drip can usually be repaired by replacing the washer.
18. Install a water-efficient shower head
They use less water than older models but compensate with air-pressure technology. Meaning you can still wash the conditioner out of your hair! Better yet, a family of four could save $47 a year* by switching to a model using 6.5 litres per minute. And if you replace a shower head more than 20 years old, your savings could more than triple.
19. Water heater timer
If your water heater is electric and you use hot water for only short periods during the day, consider installing a timer to turn the water heater on during high-use periods and off during low-use periods. Most timers allow for multiple on/off periods during the day and include a manual override switch to allow water heating at any time.
For exterior doors and windows that open, apply weatherstripping where the two surfaces meet. To stop drafts under doors, install a door sweep on the bottom edge.