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:

  1. 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 .

programmable thermostat

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.

draperies, drapes, custom, inverted pleats

roman shades, roman shade, roman blind, grey, wool

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!

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Do you have any tips you would like to add?  I would love to hear them!