6 Homeowner Tips to Lower Energy Bills
If you’re like the average Canadian homeowner, you’re always looking for ways to lower your energy consumption and save a few hundred dollars each year on utility bills. In that spirit, we talked to homeowners who continuously enjoy low energy bills. Here are their top six secrets:
1. Book an Energy Audit: Knowing where the energy leaks are in your home is the first step to lowering your energy consumption. Energy-smart homeowners with homes that are 20 years or older say hiring a professional energy auditor was one important step that helped them reduce energy usage. Energy auditors provide a detailed report on the energy drains in your home as well as recommendations to correct the problem.
2. Switch to LED Bulbs: After you get over the higher price tag for LED bulbs, you’ll be glad you bought them. Not only do they use up to six times less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, they also last up to 50,000 hours compared to only 1,200 for incandescent bulbs.
3. Seal Leaking Air Ducts: If you have small holes or tears in your ductwork, you could be losing as much as 40 percent of the heated or cooled air before it ever arrives in the intended room. Have a professional inspect your ducts to ensure your ducts are leak-free.
4. Buy Low-Flow Showerheads: Contrary to popular belief, installing good low-flow showerheads still gives you a robust spray when it comes time to rinse out even the foamiest shampoo. They also use significantly less energy and water.
5. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate: Because heat rises, energy-smart homeowners keep the attic properly insulated to ensure that heated air doesn’t escape through the roof. Energy experts say proper attic insulation can reduce your energy bills by 10 to 50 percent.
6. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans aren’t just for keeping rooms cool in the summer. If they have a reversible motor, you can set the blades to turn clockwise during the winter, so they push warm air down from the ceiling and back into the room.
In the beginning, making energy improvements can seem costly to many homeowners. But, remember your investment will pay off over time in lower energy bills. Start with the simpler tasks on the list and then make a plan to take care of the others as soon as possible.
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