There are a lot of things you can do at home to save energy (and money – woohoo!), but sometimes it’s a matter of finding time to implement them. With this being said, this process doesn’t have to be difficult, especially not when you’ve got specialist companies like Window World Oahu who exist. Whether you’re looking to replace the windows in your home to be more energy efficient or change the type of bulbs you use, these small steps can make a difference when it comes to living efficiently.
Sometimes we do things out of habit – like leave lights on in rooms that we’re no longer occupying, or leave computer monitors on when we step away (my husband drives me crazy doing that). Direct Energy’s Facebook page is a resource for sharing energy-saving tips with others. Here are my top easy-to-implement tips for making your home more energy-efficient:
1. Install a programmable or smart thermostat.
Programmable thermostats can be set to different temperatures on different times and days. Smart thermostats offer you the added convenience of programming away from home. If you’re big into the trend of ‘smart’ homes, your thermostat should be a major part of this. While it may require some crestron maintenance in london, connecting your thermostat to a smart home of your own means that you can control the temperature, as well as many other aspects of the home, at the touch of a button. I program our thermostat to 18 degrees Celsius when we’re home (though most people prefer 19-21 degrees Celsius), and 15-16 degrees Celsius when we’re out or sleeping. Similar devices can be used for other things like lights, which work by automating when they switch on and off, therefore helping you save on your energy consumption. You can source these devices here if they sound like they could be a good solution for you.
2. Go for LED light bulbs.
They are much more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, and not mercury toxic like CFLs. Yes, LEDs are pricier than other bulbs up front – but they offer a lot more energy and money savings long-term. Don’t feel like you have to go and replace all of your lightbulbs all at once. I bought a few LEDs to have on hand so that when a bulb burns out, I replace that one with a new LED. Over the course of several years, I will have gradually switched over to LEDs, and I won’t really have noticed the higher up-front cost.
3. Replace the showerhead in your bathroom(s) with low flow showerheads.
These showerheads regulate the flow of water, giving you a more efficient shower without noticing much of a difference. I’m a fan of handheld showerheads because they also make cleaning your shower a lot easier.
4. Unplug energy sucking devices when they are not in use.
Or plug them into a programmable power strip that shuts them off. Common energy wasters include your computer, printer, DVD player, TV and phone charger. Any electronic devices that have little lights (even when turned off) are sucking energy. Unplug these electronics at night or when you are away from home, or program your power strip to shut them off when you don’t use them. I have our central TV, DVD player, and laptop plugged into a programmable power strip that automatically turns off at night, then turns on in the morning.
5. Do your laundry in cold water, and hang to dry instead of running the dryer.
Cold water can save you up to 90% of the energy used to wash clothes, according to the Sustainability at Home Toolkit from DavidSuzuki.org. This document also states that “an electric clothes-dryer can generate more than 6 pounds of greenhouse gases with every load. It can save the average household about $100 per year in energy costs.” There are lots of inexpensive clothes drying racks out there, and it’s easy to maximize your laundry space to include areas for hanging laundry. (And don’t forget to choose a chemical-free detergent, and skip the conventional chemical-laden dryer sheets!)
6. Turn down the temperature on your water heater.
According to the Sustainability at Home Toolkit from DavidSuzuki.org, every 5.5 degrees Celsius reduction can give you up to 13% in energy savings. Of course you can’t just get rid of your water heater, and you might find that if you have an old water heater, that you can make more savings by actually buying a new one (you can check out this site here for more information: Waterheaterreviewssite.com). It makes sense to buy a new one, particularly if your old one has seen better days anyway.
Want to share your ideas? Use the hashtag #DEsmarthome in your tweets, pins, facebook or instagram posts to share ideas with Direct Energy! If you live in Alberta, consider signing up for the Direct Energy Comfort & Control Plan. This 5-year dual fuel plan includes a fixed rate for your Alberta electricity (which won’t change for 5 years!) and flex-through Alberta natural gas with the security of a winter cap, plus a Nest Learning Thermostat (a Smart Thermostat that you can control from your mobile device!). Learn more on their Facebook page.
What are you doing to make your home more energy-efficient?
Full disclosure: this article is financially supported by Direct Energy.