Would you like to save hundreds of dollars a year on your utility bills? If you already have the most efficient appliances available, here are four more items you can install in your home to save energy and money.
Add a mud room
Even if you have the most energy-efficient windows on the market, you cannot keep air from entering and exiting your home when you open and shut doors.
If you have children coming in and out all day, your heating and cooling system is going to be working on overdrive to keep your indoor temperature regulated.
You can save your AC or furnace some work by adding a mud room around your front and/or back door.
The mud room will insulate the entryway and act as a barrier between the extreme temperature outside and the moderated temperature inside your house.
Install a rain barrel
Did you know that 1 inch of rainfall on a 1,000 square foot roof produces 600 gallons of water? If you collected that water instead of letting it run through the gutters and down drainage systems, you could water your lawn and garden for free.
Rain barrels are not difficult to install. Type “rain barrel DIY” into any search engine and you will find dozens of tutorials written by environmentally conscious bloggers.
Hang a clothesline
You just installed the most energy efficient washer and dryer you could afford, and you feel like an environmental hero every time you do laundry because of it.
But there’s actually something more you can do to save energy and money on laundry day: stop using the dryer completely.
Instead of throwing load after load in to tumble dry, let wet soccer jerseys and khaki slacks air dry. Clothes take a beating in the dryer—especially if you put them on a heat cycle. Hanging your clothes up to dry saves energy and increases the life of your clothing.
To calculate exactly how much energy ditching the dryer will save you, pull out the dryer’s user manual. Find its element rating, and multiply that rating (which is in kilowatts) by your hourly kilowatt cost:
(Dryer’s kw rating) x (price per kwh) = price per load, per hour
Take that number and multiply it by the number of loads you do each month. Let’s say you pay 65 cents to dry a load in an hour, and you dry 21 loads each month. Air drying the clothes instead will save you $163.80 every year (source: House Logic).
Increase your insulation
You know your house has insulation, but do you know what kind? You might be able to save on energy costs just by changing the protective material—or by adding more.
Attics and walls might be your first thought when you are looking to add insulation. However, another part of your home to insulate, especially in cities with a continental climate like Toronto, is your windows.
Replacement of cracked or inefficient windows is a must before you add any insulating lining. Windows like those from Moncada Windows Doors & Siding are designed to insulate your home and thus increase the efficiency of your HVAC systems.
Alternatively, you can add window insulation, with kits that look like sheets of plastic you place over the glass surface of your windows. You can choose between clear or tinted sheeting.
These sheets on your windows do not have to be ugly. One creative couple used a stencil to cut contact paper into Moroccan tile designs and then placed the shapes on their windows. The paper gave the window the appearance of frosted glass. If you use the same technique with window insulation, you can keep your home insulated against sunlight and extreme temperatures.
A little creativity can go a long way in saving energy costs in your home. Use these suggestions and think of your own to save water and reduce cooling and heating costs. You’ll notice that your efforts are being rewarded when it comes time to pay the utility bill.
This article uses information from Moncada Windows Doors & Siding.
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