Energy Saving Tips - January 14th 2016
Q: The news is full of articles regarding the cost of energy which is a concern to many home owners. Do you have some tips that we can utlilize?
A: Reduce drafts and heat loss from your doors, windows and attic with weather stripping. In older home drafts can account for 30-40 per cent of total heat loss. Seal electrical outlets and switches on outside walls with foam gaskets.
Install a programmable thermostat to reduce home heating at night. For every 1°C (2°F) you lower your thermostat, you save 2 per cent on your heating bill. A reduction of 3°C (5°F) at night and when you are away during the day provides optimal savings.
Install a ceiling fan - change the direction of the fan to pull warm air up in the winter. This allows the ceiling and walls to be washed with warm air increasing the comfort of the room. This is a benefit to houses with electric baseboards or high cathedral ceilings.
Keep your furnace well maintained and change or clean furnace filters every 3 – 4 months if you have a continual flow furnace blower. Dirty air filters block airflow and can damage the heat exchanger
Upgrade insulation in walls, basement and attic. Insulating your basement walls and attic can reduce your energy bill by as much as 30%.
Take a quick shower instead of a bath. A five-minute shower uses up to 50% less hot water than a bath. Avoid running the tap continually while shaving, brushing your teeth or doing dishes. Tip: while you wait for hot water use the running water to brush your teeth.
Wash and rinse laundry in cold water using cold water detergent. Washing in warm rather than hot water uses 50% less energy. Avoid over-drying clothes. Clothes should dry in 30 to 45 minutes. Better yet, hang clothes outdoors to dry when the weather permits. If you are buying a new dryer, look for one with a moisture sensor. It will turn off automatically when clothes are dry.
Lighting - Install automatic timers and you won't have to remember to turn your outdoor lights on in the evening and off during the day. Installing a timer can cut your outdoor lighting energy use by up to half. Try motion detectors that switch on and off automatically. Energy saving (LED) bulbs are now available for almost all lighting fixtures giving many years of service and quality cool lighting.