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Energy efficiency is a major part of our laneway house designs here at Smallworks. We told you about our top energy saving tips for your home last month, but really, we have so many favourites that we’ve decided to follow up with even more.
Here are five more great ways to save energy in your home.
1) A programmable thermostat. You can save 2% on your heating bill for every 1 degree Celsius you turn down your thermostat. If you use a programmable thermostat to consistently lower your heat when you don’t need it, you could save up to $60 a month! One good rule of thumb is to set your thermostat to lower by 4 to 5 degrees Celsius (7 – 9 degrees Fahrenheit) while you’re sleeping at night and when no one is at home.
2) High efficiency appliances
When replacing your appliances, look for ones that display an ENERGY STAR symbol, the international symbol of premium energy efficiency. This will tell you that the products have been tested according to prescribed procedures and have been found to meet or exceed higher energy efficiency levels without compromising their performance. ENERGY STAR products typically use at minimum 20 percent less energy than products that don’t sport the symbol.
3) Drapes and Blinds
Don’t underestimate the energy-saving effects you can get by effectively using your drapes and blinds. On sunny winter days, open your south facing drapes to let the sun in to warm your home naturally. If you have large windows that don’t receive direct sun, keep the drapes closed to hold in heat when you go out. Close your curtains and blinds at night to maximize the insulating power. Make sure that your curtains are lined to help them retain heat and block the cold in winter, and block the heat and retain the cold during summer.
4) Light switch motion sensors
Install motion sensors on the lights in your home, which will turn on only when movement is detected and turn off automatically. These work particularly well for your outdoor lighting, as they can help boost your home security at the same time.
Planting the right vegetation around your house is a great way to lower your energy use. Consider planting a deciduous tree on the south side of your lawn. It will block the sun during the summer, and let in solar energy during the winter when it sheds its leaves. Check out last week’s post on how to get your garden ready for spring for tips on how to prepare your garden for planting. With a laneway house, you can have enough outdoor space to grow a garden of your own.
There’s no such thing as saving too much energy, and these minor adjustments will help you along your way.
Which of these changes will you start with?