Save Money & Energy in Your Home
Here are some simple things homeowners can do to reduce their energy consumption. Of course, this will also require some behavior changes. Homeowners may also want to schedule an EnerGuide Home Evaluation by a registered Energy Advisor from NRCan for the most up-to-date knowledge and systems in home energy efficiency, An Energy Advisor can perform an in-depth testing to find the best energy solutions for your particular home. An energy advisor can assess leakage in the building envelope by performing a blower door test. and recommend fixes that will dramatically increase comfort and energy savings. By recommending improvements to lower long-term energy consumption significantly. As much as half of the energy used in homes goes toward heating and cooling so it would be appropriate to begin with this.
- Some homes are very drafty which is a huge energy loss. Sealing air leakages can drastically improve energy efficiency and comfort. The following are some common places where leakage may occur:
- Around pipes and wires
- Wall or window-mounted air conditioners
- Attic hatches
- Fireplace dampers
- Inadequate weather-stripping around doors and windows
- Rim joists
- Above foundation
- Window frames
- Window edges and cracks
- Note that if existing windows have rotted or damaged wood, cracked glass, missing putty, poorly fitting sashes, or locks that don’t work, they should be repaired or replaced.
- Make sure that all your building envelope is insulated. Basements area where missing insulation is frequent. Especially around the rim joist this should be addressed as heat loss escapes through these areas.
- Insulate your hot water pipes to prevent heat loss.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Programming the thermostat to be turned down during times that no one is home and at night.
- During winter, open curtains to allow sunlight in. The radiant heat from the sun will naturally heat your home. Close them at night to reduce heat loss through the windows.
- Replace incandescent lights to LED
- Turn off the lights when rooms are unoccupied. Consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on.
- Install efficient showerheads and toilets.
- low-flow showerheads and low flush toilets
- Add aerators to faucets reduces water consumption
- Wait until you have a full load of clothes before washing
- Replace aging, inefficient appliances. ENERGY STAR–labeled products can cut your energy bills by up to 30%.
- Reduce or eliminate Phantom loads (A phantom loadis any device that consumes electricity when turned off but still plugged into an outlet.)
- Computers should be shut off when not in use and not in standby mode as energy is still being consumed
- Chargers, microwave, coffee machine… still consume energy when they are plugged in. When they are not being used they should be unplugged. Consider using smart power bars http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Strip-Protector-Autoswitching-Technology/dp/B0006PUDQK
- Laptop computers consume considerably less electricity than desktop computers.
- Use efficient ENERGY STAR-rated electronics.
- Avoid using high-temperature settings when clothes are not very soiled.
- Clean the lint trap every time before you use the dryer. Not only is excess lint a fire hazard, but it will prolong the amount of time required for your clothes to dry.
- If possible, air-dry your clothes on lines and racks.
- Spin-dry or wring clothes out before putting them into a dryer.
This is by no means an exhaustive list or any undertaking that would require substantial efforts but a list of some feasible ways to reduce energy consumption.
Homeowners should also take advantage of the Alberta efficiency programs including the residential No Charge Energy saving program https://www.efficiencyalberta.ca/residential/
By Marco Carello