Regardless of the age of your home, making it more energy-efficient is not only eco-friendly, it can also save you money. Fixing a dripping tap or repairing a drafty window might not seem like much, but small changes add up and can have a significant impact over time.
Weather Stripping is Your Friend
It’s not just a seasonal issue – whether it’s winter or summer, if air is entering into your home through drafty doors and windows, it is also escaping. Drafts make heating or cooling your home more expensive. Weather stripping around windows and doors that leak air can greatly reduce your energy bill up to 10% annually.
Stop other Types of Leaks
Windows and doors aren’t the only culprits. Air leaking in or out of your home can occur around electrical outlets, the entrance to an attic and older style fireplaces. For example, insulating your electrical outlets with foam insulating gaskets can help improve your thermal envelope. Sockets might not seem like a significant source of energy loss, but there’s a hole behind each faceplate that contains air. Consider upgrading the insulation of your home or adding it places, like the garage that has none. If you’re not sure what other problem areas are lurking in your home, an energy audit will help you identify other types of leaks and offer suggestions on how to stop them.
A rain barrel, cistern or tank to collect and store water that would normally drain from the gutters reduces the amount of fresh water used for watering the garden. Putting a rain barrel under each downspout of your gutter system collects liters of water you can use for non-ingestible uses that you don’t have to pay for.
When You Need to Buy New
When you need to buy new systems such as a water heater, furnace or air conditioning, choose ones that are energy efficient. Plan to renovate the bathroom in the near future? Replace taps with high efficiency faucets and the toilet with a low flow model. Avoid wherever possible battery operated appliances, because (believe it or not) they tend to use more energy than the kind you plug in.