DIY,  Economy,  Energy

Week 48: Retrofit Your Home

It’s worth taking some time to explore the different ways that you can save energy and money by making changes around your home. Some changes can be quite large and costly, but others can be small and easy to do. A lot of the smaller changes can add up over time!

Sealing Air Leaks: One of the biggest changes you can make if you live in an older home is to find air leaks and close them up. Air leaks can steal your heat in the winter and make heating your home a real challenge. Make sure that doors and windows seal properly and be sure to test your insulation before the cold weather hits to ensure you’re not losing heat through your walls or attic. Here’s a comprehensive guide to keeping the heat in!

Thermostats: Programmable thermostats can be a great way to keep the temperature set in your home so you don’t need to think about making any changes. Keeping it a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer can make a big difference. 

Light bulbs: If you haven’t already, make sure that all the bulbs in your house are LED. These energy efficient bulbs can save up to 50% in lighting costs!

Low Flow Toilets: A low flow toilet uses significantly less water than a full flush toilet. 4.8 litres or less per flush, as opposed to 6 litres or more! This can help save a significant amount of water in your home.

Use Smart Power Bars: Certain models of power bars have timers or sensors that can tell when a device is in use. When not in use, the power bar shuts off so that the device can’t draw the “phantom load”. Many devices and appliances draw power even when they’re switched off or not in use, just by being plugged in, and though it may seem trivial, it can add up over time.

Update Your Insulation: Old insulation will fall apart over time and become less effective as it no longer seals your home against the weather. If your insulation is 15-20 years old, it might be time to take a look at upgrading.

Solar Panels: Obviously an amazing way to reduce your energy consumption is to install solar panels on your roof generating your own energy from the sun! This can be a costly but rewarding upgrade to your home that can save money in the long run and also increase the value of your home.

If you’re thinking of doing some of the bigger upgrades to your home, check to see if there are any energy rebates available for your area. Rebates can often be offered at the municipal, provincial, and federal level. Often, staff at your local hardware store or your contractor should know more about rebate programs in your area. 

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