How to make your home more energy-efficient
If you want to decrease your carbon footprint while paying less for your utility bills, reducing the amount of energy your household consumes is key. Here’s how to make your home more energy efficient. USE ENERGY-EFFICIENT LIGHTING Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are better options than traditional incandescent lights. LEDs are the most energy-efficient, consuming about a quarter of the energy of incandescent bulbs. What’s more, they last 10 times longer. SEAL OR REPLACE WINDOWS Heat loss and gain through windows account for about 25 to 30 per cent of residential energy usage. You can make your windows more energy-efficient by adding weatherstripping, installing blinds or curtains and ensuring that window edges are well-sealed with caulk. In addition, consider replacing damaged or poorly insulated windows with energy-efficient ones that are double- or triple-paned. TUNE UP YOUR HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM Get your furnace, air conditioner, water heater or other appliance professionally serviced on an annual basis. This will help ensure your heating and cooling system runs at peak efficiency year-round. In addition, be sure to perform any regular maintenance tasks recommended by the manufacturer such as replacing the filters. CHOOSE ENERGY-EFFICIENT APPLIANCES Look for the Energy Star label when buying large appliances such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves and televisions. Energy Star-certified appliances use 10 to 50 per cent less energy than standard appliances. In addition, choose bathroom fixtures that conserve water such as low-flow showerheads and toilets. To maximize your efforts at making your home more energy efficient, consider hiring a certified energy auditor. This professional can evaluate the inefficiencies in your home and provide expert recommendations.