Home Energy Tips

Saving money on home energy is a combination of common sense and home maintenance.

  • Check the temperature on your hot water heater.  A thermostat setting of 60 degrees centigrade (which is 140 degrees Fahrenheit) should be an efficient setting for your water heater.  Higher water temperatures only cause your water heater to mix cold water back into it to cool it down for use.
  • As a kid, I was constantly being told by my parents to “shut the light off when you leave a room.” Well, guess what?  They were correct.  This is an easy way to save on electricity.
  • Home electronics when in “standby” mode can still draw on average from five to ten percent of household energy.  A great example is the microwave.  How many of us have this constantly plugged into the wall so we can see the time!  Even though we’re not using the microwave it is still draining energy.  A simple solution is to purchase a clock that runs on batteries to view the time and unplug the microwave when it is not being used.  If no one is watching the TV, shut it.  It’s using energy and costing you money.
  • Computer screen savers use up energy and sometimes can use more energy then if you were actually using the computer. Leaving your computer on screen saver will also reduce the life of your monitor.  You can also save energy by reducing the screen brightness of your computer/laptop. If you’re still using an old CRT monitor replace it with a new LCD monitor.
  • Modern day conveniences come with a cost attached to them which we don’t always consider.  When you need to purchase a new washing machine, buy a front loader.  These washing machines save a huge amount of water and energy compared to the top-loading  washers.  And before you toss your clothes from washer to dryer, give some thought to hanging your clothes on a clothes line to dry in the fresh air.  Your clothes will last longer and smell fresh, instead of smelling like Bounce.
  • Windows and Doors. Caulk your windows and fill gaps to prevent air from leaking through them..  Add weather stripping to your doors.  If you can see light around your door, you may first need to adjust or replace the doors hardware (strike plates, hinges, threshold plate).  Once that’s done and you still see light, add weather stripping.  Add weather stripping to the bottom of any door which gives you access from inside your home to your garage.  You’ll be surprised at how much airflow peel and stick weather stripping can prevent from entering into your home.
  • Heating Units – Change your furnace/heat pump filters as often as needed.   This is very simple to do and is critical in keeping your furnace running efficiently.  If you have baseboard heating units that use hot water, be sure to remove dust from the coils inside the unit which will maximize heating efficiency.
  • When you’re not using your fireplace, be sure to keep the flue closed to avoid a downdraft of cold air into the room.  Don’t forget to open the flue before lighting your logs otherwise the smoke will billow into the room!
  • The majority of the home’s heat escapes through drafts.  Filling these drafts will save on the heating bill over time.  Inspect all the areas on the exterior of your home where two different building materials meet (where the siding meets the chimney, where the foundation meets the exterior brick or siding), as well exterior corners.  Fill any cracks or holes in the mortar, the foundation or the siding.  Make sure to fill them with the appropriate material.  Also check where faucets or pipes extend from the exterior. Make sure there are no holes around them as well.   If your air conditioner is wall mounted, make sure that the area around the air conditioner is properly sealed.  You can purchase a cover that can be placed over the unit in the winter.  This will stop the unwanted cold air from getting inside your home.