How Can I Make My Home More Energy Efficient?

It's becoming easier every day to live an eco-friendly life. Energy-efficient home upgrades don't just save you money; they help save the world. You can make the change and "go green" a lot easier than you think, but where should you start?

Energy-efficient home upgrades will help you get more for your money while lowering your consumption. Before you decide on any new investments, ask yourself what you use the most. Water, electric, heating and air conditioning all impact your energy bill, but the needs and day-to-day use will vary among households.

Check out these easy, money-saving tips on becoming more energy-efficient, as well as some eco-friendly home improvement suggestions. Many people shy away from substantial upgrades that cost hundreds or thousands, and you shouldn't feel pressured to buy anything you aren't entirely sold on. However, it's a good idea to take a look at what's out there. In addition to being energy-efficient, many of these home upgrades also increase your home's value and make life more comfortable and convenient.

Easy Ways to Start Saving Energy

So you want to start using less energy here and now. That's great! You don't have to spend a dime to implement these changes.

Lower Your Thermostat

If you lower your home's temperature down a few notches when you're out of the house, you could save hundreds every year. It's also a good idea to only heat and cool your home as-needed; if you have a tendency to let your system run all day, you're likely overpaying and over-consuming for no reason.

Consider some energy-friendly heating and cooling solutions to cut back as well such as thermal curtains and battery-operated fans.

Start a Compost Pile

Composting isn't for everyone, but if you have a garden (or plan to start one), it's the best way to fertilize your plants and reduce waste naturally. Rather than chucking every leftover into the garbage disposal, dispose of your organic waste into a homemade bin.

To start your own compost pile, choose a small outdoor space to begin disposing of your waste. If you live in an apartment, composting can be tricky, but it's not impossible. Apartment composting can be done using specially designed, odor-free indoor compost bins.

Time Your Showers

Showering is the second-greatest source of water usage in homes, while toilets still rank in first place. Since an 8 minute shower may use a startling amount of liters, you’ll want to cut your shower time in half (and possibly even lower than that). To be conscientious of your showering habits and to save water, make sure you limit yourself to a maximum of 10 minutes.

Turn the Faucet Off More Often

Whether you're brushing your teeth or washing dishes, turn off the water while you work and only use it to rinse. Many people leave their faucets running while they wash their face, brush their teeth and clean up after meals, but this is a senseless waste of water that only costs you more money.

Use Your Dishwasher

You may think you're saving money by washing dishes by hand, but dishwashers are actually the more energy-efficient method. Handwashing a full load of dishes can use up to a couple of liters of water, while an Energy Star dishwasher uses less than a few liters, at most. If you’re looking to save the most water while cleaning your dishes, start opting for an Energy Star dishwasher, rather than the sink and a pair of gloves.

Let Your Clothes Air-dry

If the weather is nice, or if you want to increase your home's humidity level, hang your laundry up to dry. If you have allergies, then avoid hanging clothing outdoors where they'll pick up loose pollen and other allergens in the air.

Unplug Your Chargers

Many people mistakenly assume that if they don't have a charge connected to an electronic device, it isn't using any power. This isn't the case. If you leave your smartphone or laptop charger plugged into an outlet, it still draws energy from the circuit even if you aren't using it.

Make sure you charge your devices fully and let them drain before plugging them in again. Overcharging your phone and computer can also cause the battery to wear out faster, so it's a good idea to begin practicing good charging habits now.

Energy-Efficient Home Improvements

Now, it's time to take a look at some easy home improvements you can make to become more energy-efficient. Before you start, though, it's essential to determine what type of upgrades suit your lifestyle and will give you the most return on your investment.

The best way to figure out which upgrades are right for you is to conduct a home energy evaluation. Natural Resources Canada suggests an EnerGuide evaluation, which can tell you how much energy you use, what type of energy you use the most and how you can cut back.

These improvements are affordable and easy to install whether you're a DIY pro or go with a professional company.

LED Bulbs

LED lights are quickly becoming the norm in new constructions thanks to their durability and energy-efficiency. Traditional bulbs consume 25 percent more energy and cost 20 percent more than LED bulbs to run.

Incandescent bulbs were all but banned in 2014, and now they're being phased out of stores and construction entirely. LED lighting is inexpensive and easy to install, so if you want a quick and simple way to cut back on your electric bill, this is it.

Energy Star Home Appliances

Energy Star appliances can help people save C$100 or more every year, and they don't cost any more than their non-certified counterparts. In the past, Energy Star appliances were more expensive, so people were less inclined to buy them. Now, things have changed, and you can upgrade your appliances without breaking the bank.

High-performance Windows

Energy-efficient windows prevent heat loss, saving you money on your heating and cooling. Windows with the Energy Star label are the best to consider when you're making a replacement, but adding some air seals and window insulation can also cut back on costs for a lot less.

Smart Thermostats

Instead of adjusting your temperature manually throughout the day, let a smart thermostat take over. Smart thermostats are intuitive devices that connect to your heating and cooling system and are programmable via WiFi.

Many smart thermostats are "learning" devices that adapt to your preferences and patterns. With room sensors, you can heat and cool specific parts of your home in order to cut back on consumption and save money without sacrificing your comfort.

Low-flow Showerheads

When it comes to fixtures in your bathroom, showerheads typically use much more water than what is needed. If you’re trying to cut back on your carbon footprint and save some money here and there, then it’s best to look into a low-flow showerhead. This particular model will use less water while giving you the power of a standard attachment. Approximately within a month, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your water bill — which is a win for the environment and your wallet.

Find Out How You Can Save on Energy With Fox & Sons

We've helped families find solutions to their heating, plumbing and electrical problems for decades, and we don't plan to stop anytime soon! As we move into a more eco-friendly world, Fox & Sons is ready to help you make the change. Contact us today at (800) 716-4990 to learn more about how we can help your home become more energy-efficient!