With the Ontario government pushing energy-efficient retrofits in homes, you may be thinking: what can I do? Despite the incentive programs being offered, it’s still a bit expensive to incorporate solar, wind, and water into your home.
It’s time to think about the future. Electricity is just going to get more expensive and with climate change being what it is, well, let’s just say it’s better to start thinking about our carbon footprint. Luckily, there are a few environmentally-safe tricks that can help save energy and leave you paying off your power bills without having a heart attack.
Use LED Bulbs
Using Light Emitting Diodes (LED) bulbs instead of incandescent light bulbs is an easy way to lessen your electricity bill. LED lights are becoming the new norm and if you don’t have them in your house, it is recommended to switch as soon as possible. The light bulbs begin at $20 and are an affordable investment for energy saving in the home. LED lights have an average life span of 50,000 hours compared to incandescent light bulbs that can only be used for 1200 hours. They use 6-8 watts of energy instead of 60 watts used by regular light bulbs. Overall, that brings the cost of electricity used to $32.85 per year for LEDs instead of $328.59 per year for incandescent bulbs.
Smart Power Strip Bars
Power bars consume more energy than most people assume because items are left plugged in and standby electricity is used overnight. It is estimated that five to 10 per cent of household energy consumption is standby energy — unused energy that is wasted just by being plugged in. This accounts for one per cent of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions. The Smart Strip LGC3 from Bits Limited is a smart power bar that controls the power the other items receive, according to what the TV is doing. If the TV is off, the plugs for speakers, the DVD player and other items connected to the TV switch off as well.
Shade Producing Landscaping
Having trees and shrubs in your yard is not only good for producing quality air, it can help regulate heating and cooling in your home. In the winter, trees help to protect the heat source inside the home and provide wind blockage. In the summer, the foliage offers shade and cools the house down. Maple trees have very high tolerance for heat and are a great option in the summer months. On the other hand, pine and fir trees will keep their needles in the winter months. Additionally, laurel and yew shrubs have high heat tolerance and produce heavy shade.
High Efficiency Shower Heads
Shower heads waste water because they often have outdated or slower flow rates. Most shower heads produce a 2.5 gallons per minute flow rate, but high efficiency shower valves can lower that by half and help save water. The newer shower heads maintain much needed water pressure while lowering water flow for a greener showering solution.
Energy Efficiency for Dryers
Dryers use a lot of energy in the home and are often wasteful. In the summer months, it is much better to air dry clothes instead. If you are worried about your clothes being crunchy and stiff, pouring a cup of vinegar into the washer acts as a natural fabric softener. In the winter, ways to make your dryer more efficient include keeping the lint trap and vent clean and using auto-dry settings only. Purchasing an energy star certified dryer will save energy and money as well with better low heat settings and sensor drying that automatically turns off when clothes are dry.
What are your favourite energy saving devices to put in your home? Let us know in the comments below!