…without sacrificing style or comfort!
If you’ve resolved to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle this year – you’re not alone! Not only with April being considered as Earth Month, we’ve had many of our clients approach us this year, inquiring about different ways to reduce their energy consumption at home as well as cut the associated costs. There seems to be collective shift towards sustainable living and home design – we are all tuning into the tiny, yet impactful, shifts that can be made in each household to make a difference on our beautiful blue planet.
So how can we make a difference at home?
To first simplify things, let us break down why it’s worth it. Using less energy in your home will do two things:
1) It will help reduce your carbon footprint
2)Shrink your energy bills – saving you money
A common objection is, “Well isn’t making all these changes in my home going to be expensive?” It certainly can be to make these initial shifts – but with the right information, making these kinds of changes don’t have to be complex or necessarily expensive, either.
Here are 5 way to make your home more energy efficient today:
Wonder what the difference between traditional incandescent lights and energy-efficient lightbulbs are? On average, the energy-efficient options will use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents, saving you money. Plus, they can last 3-25 times longer!
And with advancements in LED lighting over the past few years, the options run the gamut; you can find dimmable LEDs for your chandeliers, and even strips you can install beneath cabinetry in your kitchen or bath! It’s true though – LED lighting is a more expensive option, so if you don’t have the budget to completely overhaul your lighting, simply start by making the switch as you naturally replace your lights. If in question, just start with the lights you use most often! Just these simple switches on your most popular lighting fixtures will provide you with the biggest pay off on saving energy and giving the environment some love!
If you haven’t seen these before, a programmable thermostat is a thermostat which is designed to adjust the temperature according to programmed settings that take effect at different times of the day. For example, why have your heating or air conditioning running all day when you’re at work? Programmable thermostats allow you to set the time for when your furnace or air conditioner should kick on based on your schedule. And with today’s smart technology, you can even set the temperature remotely!
Seal Your Home Properly
Do you know where energy could be escaping from your home? It’s not just water leakage you want to watch out for in your home – but air loss, too! Reducing air leakage in your home saves money and energy, because inadequate insulation and air leaks in your home will result in your furnace and air conditioner working overtime. This causes huge energy loss and an increase in your bills.
What to look for? Your roof vents and soffits should be clear of insulation to allow for proper ventilation, and you can use caulking to seal off any air leaks. Check your windows and doors to ensure that warm air doesn’t escape during the winter months, and cold air isn’t getting out during the summertime months. Stay comfortable and control your energy consumption!
Shop Smart for Appliances
Did you know that even when they’re not in use, that items such as TVs, electronics, microwaves, and stereos will still use energy? You might have a charging adaptor or power cord plugged in with nothing attached, but it can still draw energy and generate heat – which you end up paying for! Short of replacing all of your appliances and electronics, simply look for ones that are energy efficient. Energy Star-rated appliances will reduce energy use without compromising on performance – a great way to go! Consider an Energy Star-rated washers; which use half the water and energy per load of older models. You can look for the “Energy Star” label when shopping around, or you may consider upgrading to a “smart” energy efficient appliance, which can even be connected to your smartphone or tablet where you can control them and set preferences.
Go With the “Low-Flow”
Think of all of the water that escapes every time you run your kitchen sink, your shower head, or flush the toilet. That’s a lot of water down the drain! You can reduce this by installing low-flow aerators on your kitchen and bathroom faucets to reduce water consumption by as much as 50% – plus, you’re saving on the cost of heating the water! You can even find low-flow shower heads, too; saving you half of the water usage without compromising on the quality or enjoyment of your shower.
And instead of flushing all that money away? Think of installing a low-flow toilet – these use significantly less water than full-flush toilets! Did you know too, that the older the toilet, the more water it’s going to use?
This doesn’t mean you need to replace all of your faucets, shower heads, and toilets today – but just keep this “low-flow” option in mind when you’re shopping for your next replacement. Every bit counts!
As your go-to Real Estate team in the Fraser Valley, we have an obligation to advise homeowners on what’s best for their homes, and that includes our best recommendations on sustainability, cost savings and solutions that are environmentally friendly.
Consider this your starting point to having a more sustainable household – and please feel free to contact us for more information or tips.
Thanks for reading, and happy Earth Month!
The Pontaletta Group Team
Contact us here.