Making your home more energy efficient is not only better for your wallet, but for the environment. All the efficient features and elements work together to lower energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and shrink the home's carbon footprint.

While it may be overwhelming to start thinking about how to lower energy use in your home, here are ten things you can do to get started.

Lower Your Thermostat

If you're going to be away from home, remember to lower the temperature on your thermostat. Just by dropping the temp three to five degrees, you will reduce your monthly utility bill and use less energy.

Install Low-Flow Showerheads

Installing low-flow showerheads improves your home’s water efficiency. They have a flow rate of less than 9 litres per minute while most conventional showerheads use 19 litres per minute.

Turn Off Unnecessary Water

Be conscious of running water while brushing your teeth or shaving. Also, bathing typically uses approximately 285 litres of water compared to a shower that uses about 65 litres on average. Most importantly, try to avoid running half-loads of laundry in your washer as a full load means more clothes get washed at once, which in turn conserves water.

Replace Incandescent Bulbs

Halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs offer longer lasting light and are more energy-efficient than your old incandescent bulbs. Since the average home uses 40 bulbs, switching over to greener bulbs is a great way to save on your electrical bill.


Unplug Unused Chargers

Cell phone and battery chargers that are plugged in but not in still use up energy! Di you know the average charger consumes 0.26 watts of energy when not in use and 2.24 watts when connected to your phone>? Alone, one charger won’t make much impact, but collectively these can be responsible for 10% of your energy bill (especially if you have them all over your home). So, unplug your chargers when not in use.

Don’t Wash with Hot Water

Avoid running your washer with hot water and opt for cold or warm water when possible. 90% of the energy used by your washer is used to heat the water, and the other 10% is used to run the machine. This means using cooler water for every load can potentially save a significant amount of energy.

Add Insulation to Your Attic

Adding insulation to your attic can help seal air leaks and improve your home’s heating and cooling costs.

Install Solar Panels

Although solar panels can be quite the investment, they’re becoming a popular way to heat hot water and generate electricity for homes. They help you save money on energy bills in the long run, promote lower fossil fuel usage, and may help you qualify for annual tax incentives. Typically, they are installed on your roof and cut your electricity costs by generating energy independently of your utility company.


Install a Storm Door

Even if you have an energy-efficient front or side door, adding a storm door gives you an extra layer of protection from the weather year-round. Storm doors typically have low-emissivity glass (ability to emit infrared energy) or a protective coating that can help reduce energy loss by up to 50%. Most storm doors last between 25 and 50 years and can cost as little as $75.

Tune Up Your HVAC System

An annual tune-up on your heating and cooling system will ensure that your furnace and A/C are running at peak efficiency, which will save you money every month. A home heating and cooling check-up improves efficiency by ensuring connections are tightened, parts are properly lubricated and coils are cleaned. Tuning up your HVAC system can also help you avoid replacing your furnace.

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