5 Small Changes That Can Help You Reduce Your Hydro Bill
The cost of living continues to rise, which has many people looking for ways to make ends meet. Although you can’t do much about the prices of groceries, filling up your gas tank, or paying rent; there are a few ways to lower your electric bill.
Many homeowners dread the arrival of their hydro bill every month. But with these simple steps, you could be saving hundreds of dollars each year.
1) Install windows and doors that reflect heat away from your home
If you have windows that face west or south, then they are causing unwanted heat gain in the summer months. During the winter, windows are just letting all that precious heat escape! Be sure windows on lower floors have an air space so heat doesn’t come up from the windows below.
One of the most effective windows on the market is a thermally broken aluminum frame with air space and argon gas fill (the windows can be tinted, as well). If you buy windows like these, make sure they are “low-E” windows to keep the heat from reflecting back into your home in winter and out in summer.
New windows could lower your monthly heating and cooling costs by up to 25% during the summer months and 15% during the winter months.
2) Have an experienced contractor install weather stripping around windows, doors, and other entry points
You don’t have to hire a professional for this job because it’s relatively easy. However, most windows aren’t weatherproofed properly so they leak air unknowingly. If you’re not sure what to look for, then have a contractor come out and check windows in your home for drafts using a blower door test.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing you are saving money with windows that prevent exhaust from entering your home during the winter months. And it will also keep hot air from seeping outside in summer! A typical reduction in cooling costs is 15% or more when windows are correctly sealed — compared with improperly weather-stripped windows.
3) Insulate the hot water tank
Insulating the tank properly will increase efficiency by about 5% while still allowing quick access to lots of hot water. Although this might not seem like a big deal, 5% each year can result in big savings over time, especially if you have an older tank that’s not very efficient.
4) Install programmable thermostats
Installing one of these is the easiest way to save money on your heating bill every month. You set it so it only turns on when you need heat and doesn’t waste energy while you’re at work or sleeping — reportedly lowering energy usage by about 10-15%.
Homeowners with solar panels should consider installing one so they can keep their house warm after sundown, as well as during cloudy days. Also, if you live in a colder climate, the benefits are obvious! It could add up to $200 in annual savings, just by having a programmable thermostat.
5) Reduce the temperature of your hot water tank
Reducing the temperature of your water heater from 60 Celsius (140 Fahrenheit) to 50 Celsius (120 Fahrenheit) can cut your energy usage and costs by about eight%.
Many people don’t realize how much energy it takes to heat water for daily use like bathing and laundry. When you think about boiling thousands of litres of water each day, that’s a lot of time — and money! Don’t forget that heating less water will also help lower greenhouse gas emissions.