I’m always amused by people who brush off energy-saving efforts as being part of some “global-warming” conspiracy. Then I show them how much we’ve saved on energy bills, by making simple changes; they change their tune quickly. Even if you believe the scientific community has it wrong on the environmental crisis we face, think of the money you can save by being more energy efficient at home.
There are many things we can do to use energy wisely. One of the easiest things to do is turning lights and other appliances off when we’re not using them. I’ve gathered a few tips to help you use energy wisely.
- Install motion sensors to turn lights on and off automatically.
- Use a programmable furnace thermostat to reduce energy use when you’re not at home.
- Install blinds or curtains on windows to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- On sunny winter days, keep curtains open to allow the sunshine to help warm your home.
- On sunny summer days, keep the curtains closed to keep the house cool.
- Use timers on Christmas lights and car block heaters instead of using power all night.
- Replace worn weatherstripping on doors and windows to reduce winter drafts.
- Use a ceiling fan: blowing down in the winter and up in the summer.
- Use energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs which are four times more efficient and last about eight times as long as incandescent bulbs.
- If you use incandescent bulbs, install a dimmer switch; a bulb dimmed by 25 per cent uses 10 per cent less energy.
- Save energy by using small appliances such as a microwave, a slow cooker, an electric kettle, or a toaster oven instead of the stove or oven.
- Run a dishwasher late at night and let your dishes air dry.
- Switch to cold when doing your laundry. 85 – 90% of the energy used to wash your clothes is used to heat the water. By turning the dial to cold on your washing machine, you help the environment, save energy, and save money.
- Use a clothes dryer late at night or hang clothes outside to dry on a sunny day.
- Clean or replace the furnace filter every 1-2 months – a dirty filter reduces the airflow and forces the furnace to run longer to heat your home.
- Use plastic window covers to help prevent heat loss in the winter.
- Install low-flow shower heads and faucets.
- Dripping taps can waste 9,000 litres of hot water each year. Replace leaky washers and save the hot water.
- Take short showers instead of baths. A five-minute shower uses about half as much water as a bath.
- Replace large-volume toilets with 6-litre-per-flush models, saving at least 70 percent of the water used.
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth and save 7-12 litres of water per minute.
- Close the damper in a wood fireplace to prevent warm air from escaping through the chimney and ensure the damper fits properly.
What other suggestions would you make?