Energy efficiency at home: Consume smarter, spend less
It seems like everyone is talking about energy efficiency these days. But what does that mean, exactly? What purpose does it serve and what are the measurable benefits? Are there easy ways to become more energy efficient? Keep reading to find out all you need to know.
What is energy efficiency?
Let’s start at the beginning. Simply put, energy efficiency means using less energy to provide the same service. Day to day, this translates into consuming smarter and consuming less—when showering, cooking, and lighting and heating your home, for example. Why is this so important, you ask? Because energy efficiency is more than just a fad. It’s a tried-and-true way to save on your energy bills and reduce your environmental footprint, without missing out on comfort.
Adjustments for all budgets
From the simplest to the most sophisticated, there are all sorts of ways to make your home more energy efficient. Some of these strategies are more affordable than others, but those that require more of an investment are worth it, as they will ultimately pay for themselves and help you save for years to come.
Heating is one of the biggest fixed expenses for Québec households, making it a good place to start when trying to become more energy efficient. If you haven’t done so already, equip your home with programmable electronic thermostats. These allow you to adjust the temperature of each room based on the time of day and how they are used. By lowering the temperature of your bedrooms from 20º C by day to 16º C at night, you’ll cut your energy consumption by 8%, and sleep better, too! If the cutting edge in thermostats is what you’re looking for, opt for a smart thermostat, which learns by itself and adjusts the temperature based on your needs and routines. Bear in mind, however, that whether you have a smart thermostat or just a programmable one, you’ll have to learn how to program it properly to get the most out of it.
Prevent heat loss
How well your home is insulated can also make a big difference. Up to 32% of your home’s heat can be lost due to poor insulation, incurring needless expenses—you’re basically throwing money out the window! To make your home more heat efficient, you can have a blower door test performed and seal any air leaks, improve your home’s insulation or, if the time has come to do so, replace your doors and windows with models offering better insulation.
Choose the right equipment
Last but not least, you can replace your old heating appliances with newer, more efficient units. More efficient heating appliances make the most effective use of the energy they consume. For example, an older water heater or boiler can have an energy efficiency of 75%, meaning that a quarter of the energy that it uses (and that you pay for) is lost during the heating process. On the other hand, a new water heater or boiler with an energy efficiency of 95% will keep energy loss to a minimum, meaning that almost all of what you spend will actually go toward heating your home and the water that you use. In short, more efficient appliances make for lower consumption, not to mention lower bills!
Yet another way to save
What’s more, you can quickly maximize your return on high efficiency equipment purchases with the help of grants from Énergir. Grants are available for a number of appliances, including condensing boilers and water heaters as well as combo systems. To keep these appliances performing at their best, proper maintenance is a must. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and turn to certified professionals to make sure that the equipment that you’ve invested in lasts for a long time to come.
All in all, making your home more energy efficient is easier than you might think: it just means paying attention to the details that count, and making sound, informed decisions when it comes time to replace your heating equipment.