In recent years, energy efficiency has become a major topic of concern across the world. Our collective environmental footprint has reached dangerous levels, and now many are trying to steadily rectify previous energy overuse.
Many electronic devices these days come with “sleep” or “standby” modes. Although a device’s energy consumption can lower while using these modes, they still draw power for all 24 hours of a day. You can reduce power consumption in a number of ways, including window replacement in Toronto, unplugging devices, changing your light bulbs and more.
We’ve highlighted 10 of the best ways to make your home more energy efficient:
1. Use Smart Power Bars
Smart bars are a great tool to reduce your home’s energy consumption, and they involve very little effort as well! Try to select models with timers that can cut a device’s power overnight. Alternatively, you may want to look into purchasing a smart power bar that includes a master socket for your tv (or another major appliance) with sub-sockets for game consoles, speakers, dvd players or other devices.
With the assistance of low-level use devices like smart power bars, you can potentially reduce five to ten percent of your electricity bill! In the long-run, that can definitely add up to sizeable savings.
2. Purchase Energy Star Products
Energy Star products are a government-endorsed symbol for energy efficiency. In Canada and across North America, thousands of government, commercial and industrial organizations as well as residential homes use energy star rated products to maximize energy efficiency.
Since 1992, greenhouse gas emissions has reduced by nearly 3 billion metric tons due to energy star rated products! Energy star has become reputable due to its thorough testing process, which includes air leakage and heat-loss tests. Furthermore, the criteria to receive energy star ratings vary amongst products. For example, window replacement in Toronto typically requires a minimum energy rating of 29 or maximum U-factor of 1.4.
If you’re shopping around for energy star products, purchasing items that have been accredited by reliable and reputable organizations is incredibly important. Unfortunately, there are some companies selling fake energy star products–which could not only fail to maximize energy efficiency, but keep costs high and even affect home resale value.
You can trust products third party accreditors like the CSA group. The CSA group uses a mix of testing methods, including in-house testing and conducting regular audits. The organization has over 100 years of experience in the industry, and has become one of Canada’s top standards development organizations.
When it comes to cost savings, businesses and homeowners can expect to save anywhere from $126-$465 yearly by using energy star products. Although they may seem pricey during processes like door and window replacement in Toronto, their long-term cost savings can certainly make it worthwhile.
3. Unplug Hardly-Used Devices
It’s extremely common for many individuals to leave battery chargers plugged in at all times as it’s convenient and makes daily tasks a little bit easier. Although we understand that having to replug it daily to charge your phone may seem a bit tedious, it can be beneficial for energy savings and you wallet!
According to www.energy.gov, a charger can consume up to 0.26 watts of energy when it’s plugged in without use, and 2.24 watts when it is connected to products like phones and cameras. These plugged in devices are commonly referred to as “energy vampires”, and they can account for nearly 10% of your energy bills depending on how many devices are left unplugged.
Try to unplug products like small heaters, toaster ovens, guest room tvs and chargers, and other items you may not use frequently!
4. Seal Windows
For many houses with older windows, air leakage is inevitable. This is often due to a lack of proper insulation and the fact that many traditional windows were manufactured with single panes of glass. Sealing cracks and openings can reduce cold spots and drafts, improve any moisture problems, and improve air quality. Sealing windows properly can maximize your energy usage and ultimately increase your energy savings!
We recommend maximizing your home’s energy efficiency by opting for window replacement in Toronto, especially if your home has single pane windows. Using double pane or multiple pane windows in your home can improve overall insulation, and having it installed by professionals can ensure that air doesn’t escape your home. Caulking and weatherstripping are two common air-sealing techniques that can “seal” the deal.
5. Maximize Your Oven’s Energy
Ovens are known for being a household appliance that eats up the most energy. After all, baking or broiling things involve a lot significant heat levels.
Applying simple practices in your day-to-day lives can really reduce your energy usage over time, especially considering that ovens are a major cooking tool for most households. First, we recommend limiting your oven to when you truly need it. For example, if you’re reheating a frozen product that could also be cooked in a microwave, we suggest opting for the microwave method. Not only will it cut your cooking time, but it can also cut energy usage.
Another practice to maximize your home’s energy usage is to stop peeking in the oven! Yes, we know it can be difficult to not check on your baked goods, but it can truly make a world of difference when it comes to being energy efficient. Opening an oven can cause its temperature to drop by 25 F which can then lead to needing more time to cook.
Finally, instead of waiting for your timer to ding, try turning off your oven in the last few minutes of cooking. The oven will still be warm enough to cook your food through, but won’t generate additional heat.
6. Install Storm Doors
Installing storm doors serve a similar purpose to window seals– it acts as a second insulator for your home. Some may wonder what the purpose is of essentially putting a door in front of your door, but it can be incredibly helpful. Storm doors act as a barrier to unwanted elements, including dirt, wind, snow, and bugs. Secondly, they trap air between your main entry door and the storm door–keeping your home perfectly cool/warm.
By trapping air within your home–the heating or cooling that you spend precious dollars on, you can maximize energy efficiency, maintain regulated temperatures and save on energy bills.
7. Reduce Water Usage
Reducing water usage can result in serious savings on your water heating bills. We have a few ideas on how you can reduce your water usage without completely giving up warm showers–especially during our chilly winters!
First, we recommend purchasing low-flow shower heads. These shower heads are designed to use significantly less water than normal shower heads. According to the Capital Regional District in BC, showering accounts for a total of 19% of residential indoor shower use. Families of three can save up to 11,000 litres of water per year by just using a high-efficiency showerhead! Older showerheads can use up to 20 litres per minute, whereas newer, low-flow showerheads slice the litre-per-minute rates by over 50%.
Another tip in reducing water is by using dishwashers, washers and dryers in the evenings. The idea behind changing your laundry and dishes timing is that it will reduce power grid strains as peak hours are usually between the hours of 4-6 PM. Adopting this practice can ultimately reduce chances of home emergencies too!
8. Install Solar Panels
Solar panels are known for being an expensive process, but if you’re considering fully committing to maximizing your home’s energy efficiency, solar panels are an incredible addition.
Solar panels are known for being one of the fastest advancing forms of renewable energy available. For home environments, solar panels are typically installed on rooftops and used to generate electricity. They can either use photovoltaic conversion (PV), which is the most common form of generating solar energy. Alternatively, some use solar thermal conversion which uses thermal collectors to create heat so that you home and water can be heated through solar power.
Some major advantages in using solar panels is that it significantly cuts energy usage and pollutants. It’s also a form of renewable energy, so they have a lower impact on the environment than other energy sources do. Using less energy also, as we know, reduces the costs of energy bills.
Finally, there’s zero maintenance involved once they are installed. Compared to traditional energy sources like gas boilers, you won’t have to repair solar panels due to random breakdowns or crashes.
9. Use Energy Efficient Light bulbs
Many traditional Traditionally, homes used incandescent light bulbs to illuminate interiors, but many manufacturers stopped producing them in 2014.
The average household’s energy bill spending contains an average of 11% accounting for lighting. Incandescent light bulbs only had the capability to convert up to 10% of its energy into light, not making them energy efficient in the least.
Now, there have been many products developed that have replaced the traditional lightbulb and are much more energy efficient– by 25%-80% to be exact. Energy efficient lightbulbs include compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and finally, Halogen bulbs. Not only are these bulbs known for being more energy efficient, but they also last much longer than transcendent light bulbs. These newer bulbs each have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, CFLS use up to 75% less energy last outlasts incandescent bulbs by 10 times, but LEDs are more expensive and have even more lasting properties.
10. Install Programmable Thermostats
Programmable thermostats regulate temperature on your schedule rather than controlling the temperature 24/7. By taking control of the temperature within your home, you can avoid the costs of unwanted heating or cooling at times when you don’t really need it. Therefore, you’ll only be using energy when you truly need it, your energy bills will reduce, and you won’t be wasting energy sources unnecessarily!
Here at Clera Windows and Doors, we make our clients our top priority. Whether you’re looking to increase energy efficiency through the installation of a storm door, window replacement toronto, or better sealing your windows, we’ve got you covered!
Our dedicated team members will guide you through the replacement window and door process, from selecting your materials, cut and colours, to getting them manufactured with the best detail and quality, and eventually getting them installed.
Contact us today to get started!