With Spring beginning to make an appearance, you may be thinking about sprucing up your home, or getting to those renovations you put off over Winter. Whatever it is, here are some helpful tips for simple things you can do to reduce the carbon footprint of your home, as well as save on energy costs.
- It’s not always easy to turn down your thermostat at night and/or when you are not home, so replace your old thermostat with one that can be programmed.
- A lot of heat is lost through windows, so ensure all glazing has lined drapes or blinds… that you remember to draw every night.
- To eliminate vampire loads (the way electrical devices consume power even when shut off), use power bars to switch electronics in both your office and your entertainment area, and remember to turn them off or purchase programmable units.
- Unplug wall warts (like battery chargers) when not in use, or avoid them altogether.
- At night, turn off as much power as possible, including refrigerators and freezers that won’t be opened before morning.
- Use the lowest watt bulbs possible.
- Replace multi-bulb fixtures with fixtures that require only one or two bulbs.
- Task lighting is both more efficient and more effective, so place lamps in strategic locations and avoid the ceiling fixtures.
- Always turn off unnecessary lighting; light only your immediate location.
- Decommission multiple exterior fixtures.
- If your older home needs more insulation, do the attic first, using either loose fill or batt insulation.
- The easiest way to add insulation to exterior walls is to retrofit a layer of rigid insulation under the siding.
- Replace single pane (and even double pane) with triple pane windows. Replace poorly insulated exterior doors.
Beverley Eert is the Creation Matters Working Group representative in the Diocese of Brandon. She has a degree in Architecture from the University of British Columbia and ran her own design and building company in Vancouver before retiring to Manitoba.