With the high costs of utilities lately it is more important than ever to consider how much energy your home uses. Is a complete overhaul out of your budget? Here are some relatively inexpensive ideas to help you conserve energy without breaking the bank!
- Install a programmable thermostat. This is one of the easiest things to do to save energy instantly. There is no need to heat or cool your home when everyone is out. Plus, there are some very cool new models to choose from. A quick search online reveals a thermostat for practically any style!
- Add blinds/drapes to windows. Insulated drapes can block out the summer heat and keep the warmth in during the winter. If you do not like the appearance of drapes look into a honeycomb (cellular) shade. These are a great option for energy savings and come in a wide range of colours. The honeycomb shape of the cells trap air, blocking summer heat and the cold winter air.
- Check to ensure that windows/doors are airtight. Any gap between your windows/exterior doors and your home can add up to a substantial energy loss. Fill any gaps around the windows with caulking and replace the weather stripping around your exterior doors if you find that their effectiveness is weakened.
- Change out incandescent bulbs. There are a wide range of energy efficient bulbs available on the market these days. My favorite is the LED bulb. Most hardware stores have a variety of types/styles and many of them are compatible with dimmer switches, something that the CFL bulbs lack.
- Replace older appliances. Even though your old appliances may be in good working condition they are using far more energy than the new models. Check the energy star rating on your current appliances and compare that with the new version. Upgrading your mid-efficiency furnace to a high efficiency model may be costly, but the cost savings will be seen immediately on your energy bill. Although be prepared for it to be several years before you break even on the cost of the new furnace vs. the energy savings.