Making a few small changes in your home could add up to big savings in your energy bill, and that’s good news for you and for our planet.
Here are some things that you can do to make your home more energy-efficient:
- Turn the heat down. Better yet, use a programmable thermostat so you don’t have to remember to do it! Starting at just $20, it will pay for itself in a very short time. We have installed them in every house we have lived in, and like the Honeywell brand. Find them at Home Depot .
2. Use window coverings – Lined draperies can reduce a window’s heat loss by 10-30%. Drapes with darker colours and tightly woven fabrics, with heavy black-out lining will provide the most insulation. Highly reflective blinds can also reduce heat gain by up to 45%. Roman shades with heavy lining also provide extra insulation, especially when mounted close to the glass.
3. Upgrade or add insulation – Adding insulation to your attic and walls can help seal air leaks and improve your home’s heating and cooling costs. Read this article by This Old House to find out the best type of insulation to use.
4. Stop drafts – Make sure all your windows and doors have good seals. Adding weatherstripping around window frames and caulking any cracks will go a long way in making your home more energy efficient. For some inexpensive ways to seal your windows read this article by This Old House.
5. Consider replacing old wood windows if there are signs of deterioration and rot, and they cannot be repaired. Single-glazed aluminum windows also should also ideally be replaced (no more condensation!) New windows are expensive, but your decrease in energy-loss will be significant and your home will be much more comfortable, and desirable if you decide to sell.
6. Replace old toilets with a Low-Flush model. Toilets are the biggest water drain in your house, accounting for up to 30% of your water use. New, low-flush toilets use 1/3 – 1/2 the amount of water as an old one. If you can’t afford new toilets, there are some no-cost ways to cut down on how much water your toilet uses. For example, you can literally fill a plastic bottle with pebbles or sand and place it in your toilet’s water tank (away from the plumbing equipment). This will displace some of the water used for the flush.
Before you do any major renovations or upgrades, check to see if there are any government grants available in your area. In Canada, you can have an energy audit done, to determine your best plan of action. Find out more info here.
If you are looking to buy a new home in Canada, look for a home that has an R-2000 or Energy Star rating. Read more about R-2000 Homes here
Arhaus, a furniture company that believes in using natural materials, has teamed up with American Forests and designers to provide insight into ways to make your house more environmentally friendly. Many of their dining room tables are made with wood certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative to ensure that their products have as little environmental impact as possible. By using green technologies and organic products, we can really have an impact! Right now, Arhaus is offering up to 60% off!
Do you have any tips you would like to add? I would love to hear them!
This month we are giving away an embroidered linen bolster pillow cover, valued at $46. It fits a 7″ x 20″ bolster pillow. Bolster pillows look great on benches, on a bed, or on a chair. This one has a delicate floral pattern of pale blues, greens and greys.
Contest runs from July 5 – July 19, 2017. Open to residents of Canada and USA, 18 years or older.
It’s time for another giveaway! I am a mom of 3 amazing daughters and I feel so blessed to have them in my life. To celebrate Mother’s Day I have teamed up with a few friends and am giving away this amazing gift package worth over $125 –
One winner will receive:
2 outdoor pillow covers, by NikkiDesigns
6 organic napkins, by NikkiDesigns
1 recycled fabric tote bag, by Sharon
1 recycled fabric cosmetic bag, by Sharon
3 delicious snack bars by Good Bite, made on Vancouver Island
Contest is open to residents of Canada and USA, 18 yrs or older.
Contest ends: May 14, 2017
Looking for ways to create an inviting, fresh look for your outdoor living space without breaking the bank? I have rounded up a few ideas that are easy to do, and don’t cost a lot.
One hot trend in outdoor design right now is to use natural materials that you can find locally. Recycled timber, local rocks, plants and grasses all create a very natural, rustic look.
Ask your neighbors if they have any plants they are dividing in the Spring that you can have. If they thrive in their garden, they will thrive in yours! Using native plants is also good for the eco-system.
Create a relaxing area to read, unwind, and maybe do some yoga or stretches. I found this beautiful Brazilian style hammock for $65 here
Repeat plantings for a bigger impact. Fill large pots with inexpensive perennials for instant colour. Larger pots also means less watering. Find 14″ terracotta plastic pots for $9.48 ea at Home Depot
Tall pots like these can be found at Home Depot for $35 each. Mix tall, spiky spider plants and wandering Jew with cascading creeping Jenny and sweet potato plants (Ipomoea batatas) for a great eye-catching arrangement.
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This month we are giving away a $40 gift certificate that can be used on any of our bedding – wool comforters, mattress pads, pillows, duvet covers, sheets, bed skirts, and bed throws. This is your chance to get that bolster pillow or linen sheet set that you’ve been wanting! Gift certificate may be applied to custom orders.
Free shipping on purchases over $300, otherwise shipping charges will apply.
Contest runs Jan 6 – 31, 2017.
Open to residents of Canada and USA, 18 yrs of age or older.