Cheap Home Improvements that will Save Energy this Spring
Use the Home Energy Savings Calculator to see how much can you save
Major renovations to improve your home’s energy efficiency may not be in the offing for you this spring, but there are ways to reduce the amount of energy you consume. Paring down your hydro bill will leave you with more disposable income and reduce your carbon footprint.
Start with a home energy audit by a professional or do one yourself. This will help identify areas in your home that need improvement. Use the Home Energy Savings Calculator to see how much you can save on each eco-living home improvement so you get the most out of every dollar.
Rebates and Incentives
Your local government provides a range of coupons, incentives and rebates to home and condo owners who make improvements that result in energy savings. Here are just a few that can help you reduce your environmental impact.
Installing a ceiling fan, buying a smart power bar or replacing your lightbulbs? These inexpensive improvements make a significant dent in your hydro bill and they just got cheaper. Print out the coupons from SaveOnEnergy and get a list of participating retail outlets.
Save up to $650 when you capitalize on SaveOnEnergy’s Heating and Cooling promotion. Upgrade your furnace or air conditioner to an EnergyStar appliance to qualify for the $650 rebate and save up to $325 annually on your energy bill.
Turn it Down
If you can’t afford a new EnergyStar water heater, turn your water heater down. When you get in the shower, you probably don’t turn your water all the way up to the hottest setting, so you won’t even notice if you turn your water heater down a few degrees. You save 5% on your water heating bill for every 6°C you lower your water heater.
Insulating your water heater and any pipes that run outdoors or along building components that extend out to the exterior of your building envelope will also help mitigate heat loss.
Check your hot water taps for leaks. Fixing a leaky tap can save $33 a year on your hydro bill.
Window treatments are fairly cost-effective and can improve insulation in the winter while blocking summer sun. If you don’t want to do all the windows, focus on panes to the south, east and west of your home as they get the most sunlight. Blinds or curtains help provide additional insulation.
If you have a garden, plant deciduous vines or trees outside your south-facing windows. In the summer their leaves will block the hot summer sun and they will lose their leaves in the winter and allow the natural sunlight to heat your home.
Cut just one load of laundry a week and bulk up the other loads to save. Use a cold wash whenever possible—it’s cheaper and easier on your clothes. If you do eight loads of laundry a week and hang just 50% of those on the line, you’ll save $47 a year on drying. Putting a towel in your dryer will help to reduce your drying time by a further 10%.
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