How To Save Energy And Money
March 6, 2015
How To Save Energy And Money - Home Improvement Retailing Magazine
With the good weather finally here. Canadians are once again purchasing or building new properties and/or renovating their existing homes. This is the ideal time to pay attention to a home’s energy efficiency and make energy saving changes where possible. Not only can consumers save electricity and natural gas, they can also realize significant cost savings. Energy optimizing changes may require initial investment costs, but these expenses can be amortized over the lifetime of the home and reduce heating, cooling, and water costs for years to come. Education is the first step to helping home owners navigate the choices that they make when building, buying, or remodeling.
The following are tips that you can share with your customers on how they can save energy and money in their home.
Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
Major home appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers contribute significantly to your customers’ monthly utility bills. By purchasing high efficiency kitchen and laundry appliances, consumers can save as much as half the energy of older appliances. Consumers should look for the ENERGY STAR certification
The first opportunity for homeowners to save energy and money is during the design and planning stages. Through space planning and intelligent design, homebuilders and contractors can implement design efficiencies that will result in optimum natural heating and cooling, reducing energy needs, and ultimately expenses.
Install and Insulate
Home owners should research the feasibility of installing solar panels on the home or property for efficient double pane windows with low-E glass and all windows and doors should be sealed. Insulating attics, walls, and ceilings and caulking and sealing walls, windows, floors, and doors can also decrease energy usage and costs.
Monitor Energy Usage
Homeowners in eligible areas can sign up for smart meters and smart thermostats to monitor energy usage. By better understand energy consumption, consumers can program and plan for the most efficient use. Even small changes can make a difference such as replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Simple maintenance such as cleaning and sealing heating cooling ducts, replacing air filters, insulating pipes, and cleaning HVAC equipment can greatly improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. At a minimum, change the furnace filter every three months. A dirty filter will slow down airflow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool, wasting energy.
A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system, which could lead to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.