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5-WAYS-TO-IMPROVE-YOUR-ENERGY-EFFICIENCY

5 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

By Mike Holmes Jr.

Mike’s Advice / Home Safety & Maintenance

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 @ 3:08pm

We all spend more time indoors than we think. That’s why we always talk about making our homes healthy, paying attention to our indoor air quality and building it right the first time. As responsible homeowners, we should also be paying attention to our home’s energy consumption and energy efficiency. Reducing your energy consumption will bring your monthly energy bills down as well as help the environment. So how can you reduce energy usage at home? 

#1 MAKE THE SWITCH TO LED LIGHT BULBS


Think of all the lights you have in your home and how you can save money by switching over to LED bulbs!

In my opinion, the first and easiest place to start is by switching all of your old incandescent lightbulbs to LED lightbulbs. One standard incandescent lightbulb at 60 watts costs roughly $7.23 annually on your energy bills. It has a lifespan of less than one year. If you compare that to a 13-watt LED lightbulb which gives off just as much light, it costs only $1.56 annually per lightbulb. This means an annual savings of $5.67 on your energy bills per lightbulb. 

Despite the initial cost discrepancy between an incandescent lightbulb and an LED one, the lifespan of the LED bulb is up to 20 years which means that the LED bulbs will end up paying for themselves. This is an easy way to reduce your energy costs.

(based on a study from B&G Property Maintenance

#2 EMBRACE SMART HOME DEVICES  


Smart home technology has changed a lot over the years, and you can now monitor both your energy and water consumption.  

I love this because in case you aren’t home, you will receive a notification about the leak as well as the capability to turn off the water main all from the app on your cell phone. This system grants you peace of mind and it has been designed to feel like you’re playing a video game, which I give them bonus points for! This technology helps us waste less and save money.

#3 PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTATS SAVE YOU MONEY


How much are you spending to heat or cool your home every month? A programmable thermostat is an easy way to reduce your utility bill. You can set a schedule so that when you are away from home, you are not wasting energy. 

#4 TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT YOUR WINDOWS


Another area in your home that you should focus on for energy efficiency is your windows. Heat loss is prevalent in old and single paned windows which makes them remarkably inefficient. Most energy efficient windows are now made from low-E glass to help block out the sun’s rays which will keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. 

A key player in energy efficient windows is the dual pane or triple pane technology. Believe it or not, modern windowpanes are now constructed with argon or krypton gas (no, not Superman’s kryptonite) in between the window panes which actually helps give the windows a higher R-value. 

TIP

R-Value refers to a building material’s capacity to resist heat flow. With a higher R-Value comes a higher insulating power.

Energy efficient windows are a key player in saving energy and money. If you are unsure of whether your windows need replacing or not, I would suggest contacting a pro. We love working with Trimbo Window MFG for our Toronto jobs.

trimbo

They do a great job assessing windows and helping us install upgraded and quality windows.

#5 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR INSULATION


A thought I always like sharing for others to keep in mind is to insulate from the outside – in. This means that during a build or renovation, consider applying materials such as mineral wool or silverboard from Amvic to the exterior of your home to give it a greater R-value. 

If you are not planning on redoing your entire exterior façade but want an upgrade, you should consider spray cork from Vipeq. Not only can you change the colour and texture of the face of your house with this spray cork, it brings many additional energy efficiency benefits. It has anti-fungal properties, a class B fire rating, sound dampening properties, and a low thermal conductivity. You’ve got to check out Vipeq’s Thermal Corkshield™!

WANT MORE TIPS?

Check out the episode below of Holmes @ Home to learn more!

 

How Can Participating In Utility Programs Help You Become More Energy Efficient?


In an effort to improve efficiency and cut customer prices, an increasing number of utility providers have opened the door to home incentive programmes. Homeowners are rewarded with different types of financial incentives by changing their behaviours and minimizing their consumption during peak periods. There are many advantages to taking part in incentive programs. Here are some things to consider:

  • Different utility companies offer different incentives
  • Determine which type of program is right for you
  • Weigh the program’s advantages vs. disadvantages
  • Think about how smart home devices can help you manage your consumption and increase your energy efficiency.
  • Plan ahead and think about your future needs
  • Always read the fine print

 

Some of the different utility programs to consider include:

 

Demand Response (DR) Programs

DR programmes encourage households to save energy usage during peak demand periods, which helps to alleviate grid pressure and creates cost-saving opportunities for the homeowners. This is a short-term, voluntary decrease in electrical consumption by the homeowners.

 

Time-Based Rates

Time-based rate plans charge customers different pricing for electricity depending on the time of day, season, or type of day (such as weekday, weekend, or holiday). The purpose of this structure is to move energy use from peak to off-peak hours, therefore aligning customer pricing with the real cost of providing power.

 

Energy Efficiency Programs

Many of the energy efficiency initiatives offered to households are sponsored by utility companies in order to assist residents in reducing overall usage and lowering utility costs. Some utility providers hire energy auditors to work with households to assist them in minimizing their energy consumption and costs. Others have started to provide essential peak subsidies to residential consumers. This form of incentive provides discounts to homeowners who use less power during peak times on the grid.

 

For more information on building an energy-efficient home and utility programs check out this guide by Eaton Electric

 

There is no better time than the present to start making your home healthier for yourself and the environment by making it energy efficient. In my opinion, these are 5 easy and cost effective ways to get started. 

Ready to make some changes in your home to lower your electricity bills? Check out 11 ways to reduce your monthly electricity bills.

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