We would all like to see our costs for utilities decrease without giving up our comfort and convenience. Here are a few tips you can try that may help you accomplish this and help the environment at the same time.
- Set your thermostat a few degrees lower than usual this fall and leave it there all winter. It is more efficient to wear warmer clothes or keep a light sweater handy than to keep changing the settings.
- Turn off lights and unplug appliances when you are not using them or when you leave the house. You could also get a smart power strip for your appliances that can sense when they are not being used and cuts “phantom” or “vampire” energy use.
- Replace your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. They will take less energy and will last up to 10 times longer. If you clean your light fixtures regularly it removes dust and makes the bulbs burn brighter. For room lighting, if you place the lamp in a corner where it will reflect off two walls they will produce the most light.
- Whenever possible wash your clothes in cold water. About 80% of the energy your machine uses is to heat the water. In nice weather, you can also use a clothesline or drying rack to save drying costs.
- You may also want to look into some devices for saving water. There are water-saving flush kits you can install in the existing toilet that can save you thousands of liters of water per year. If you are thinking of replacing your bathroom fixtures install a 6-liter-per-flush toilet that will save 70% of the water used. Also, look into energy-efficient showerheads and flow controllers to conserve water. A low-flow shower head uses up to 60% less water than a conventional one. It is also a good idea to repair dripping taps and other small leaks as soon as you spot them.
- Check your home for drafts. Weather stripping and caulking is a small expense compared to the increased comfort and reduced heat bills this winter.