Save money on your energy bills with these 6 tips
One of the best ways to save money at home is by cutting down how much you spend on your energy bills each month. This means finding ways to use less electricity, gas and water without compromising comfort. Below are six ways you can make your home run cheaper.
Add more insulation to your home
Not running your furnace or air conditioner constantly without feeling cold in the winter or hot in the summer requires your home to be properly insulated. Insulation works by keeping outdoor air from getting inside your home and conditioned indoor air from escaping. Adding the right amount of insulation to your attic and unfinished basement should be top priority, followed by exterior and interior walls, floors and around windows and doors.
“Ensuring that you have an insulation that has a tight fit is key when insulating your home,” says Kim Friedrich, product specialist at insulation manufacturer Roxul.
Insulation is rated based on a measurement of resistance the material has to the movement of heat. This is most commonly referred to as an R-value. The higher the R-value the more effective the insulation is.
“With regards to your attic, we would recommend an R-60. For the basement it would be around an R-20,” Friedrich said.
Caulking around the outside of windows and doors and insulating light switches and receptacles on exterior walls with special foam inserts is also a good idea. Wrapping hot water pipes with pipe foam will help lower the cost of heating water and will also prevent the possibility of pipes freezing in the winter.
There are many other factors when adding insulation to your home and your savings will depend on where you add it and what type of insulation you use.
Use a programmable thermostat
Using a programmable thermostat helps keep your heating and cooling system on a schedule so that your furnace is not struggling to raise the temperature in your home in the winter and that your air conditioner is not running all day when you’re at work. Smart thermostats, like the Nest Learning Thermostat or ecobee3, give you even more capabilities to monitor and control your usage, and offer incentives to use less energy.
Programming your thermostat between 21C and 23C in the winter is the most efficient and, according to Direct Energy, you can save up to four per cent on your heating bill in the winter by adjusting your thermostat to the lower temperature at night and during the day when you’re at work.
Before purchasing a programmable thermostat, check with your local utility company to see if you’re eligible for a free or discounted unit.