Dishes Dishes Everywhere
Saving money using your dishwasher
It’s so easy once all those dirty dishes have been loaded into that magic machine that washes them, to just close the door and press “Start”. This is definitely easier than washing and drying by hand but does it save you money? This is the question my husband, the renovator and home improvement expert asked me. Now, if you are like I am and tend to wash dishes under running water, I have good news for you, and for my home improvement minded husband, using your dishwasher is saving you money. To save electricity and costs when using your dishwasher, choose the air dry setting/turn off the heat dry setting and only run your dishwasher when it is full. If your dishwasher does not have this setting simply turn your dishwasher off when it reaches the dry cycle. Another little tip is to choose the short wash cycle; yes sweetheart, the dishes will come out just as clean as choosing the energy wasting longer cycle.
Fight Phantom Load
Unplug your appliances
As we leave our houses in the morning we make sure that the stove is turned off and our doors are locked, our home is safe, or so we think! Without a second thought we are leaving behind phantoms to rob us. What exactly is Phantom Load you may ask? Phantom Load is power that is used by any appliance that is plugged in but doing nothing. Examples of this may be your TV, DVD player, cell phone charger, computer, power tools, etc. Phantom Load consumes 5-10% of your total home electricity consumption. What exactly should we do, well, unplug those things that are stealing from you. That may be easy in some cases but crawling behind the TV each time you finish using it will get old fast….keep reading, the solution is just a line away….
You’ve Got the Power!
For those of us who have other things on our mind besides remembering to unplug the TV when not in use, the Woods Powerbar/Timer is perfect. This is an 8 outlet bar with a timer, the dust cover slides open and closed to keep out dust and debris and keep little fingers from playing with the outlet. Four of the outlets are controlled by the timer and four by the switch, there is also a manual override switch. Get the handman, or should I say handyperson, in your household to get their hands on one of these babies! You can purchase the Woods Powerbar/Timer from Canadian Tire for 24.99 (Energy Star offers a $4.00 coupon to be redeemed at time of purchase).
And Then There Was Light
Replace your incandescent light bulbs
Replacing your incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent blub can save you $30 – $40 in electricity costs over the lifetime of the bulb. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer, they also produce approximately 75% less heat. Get your Star Energy Coupon to help with the cost. This is a quick little fix, you don’t have to be a handyman to do this job! If you find it too expensive to replace all your bulbs at once, do one at a time, every little bit counts!
Are Your Appliances Sucking All Your Power
Upgrade to ENERGY STAR®-qualified appliances.
ENERGY STAR is an international symbol assuring you that the product offers premium energy efficiency. The product can be 10 to 50 percent more efficient than conventional appliances.
Water, Water Everywhere
The family has settled down for the night, the house is silent and you are falling off to sleep, drip. Drip, drip. As you utter a sigh you get up, go into the bathroom and attempt to turn the faucet tighter. This time the dripping just won’t stop. Ahhh, just close the bathroom door and go back to bed. Problem solved! Did you know that a leaky faucet losing one drop of water per second will waste 9,000L of water per year. It could be costing you $10.00 a month. That’s all I have to say on this subject!!
Caulking The Cracks
Reduce air leaks in your home
Money and energy are slipping through the cracks in your home. The simple solution of caulking around your windows and applying some good quality weather stripping around all your doors will take care of this. To even go a step further, install foam gaskets behind all switch plate covers and electrical outlets. If this is a job that is a little out of your league a handyman would be only too happy to help you out…Genesis Renovation to the rescue!!!
Go With The Flow
Install low-flow toilets.
If you are planning a home improvement and the bathroom is part of the renovation, you may want to take into account to account your toilet! If you have a 13L per flush toilet you are flushing away approximately 24,226L of water a year. If you replaced this with a 6L per flush or low flow toilet you would be flushing away 10,977L , this is over 50% less water usage per year – what a saving!
Keeping Your Pipes Warm
Insulate around my water pipes
A little home improvement tip that is often overlooked. By simply insulating your hot water pipes you can reduce the heat loss as well as raise the temperature of your hot water by 2-4°. An additional benefit is that you will spend less time standing in your shower on those cold winter mornings while waiting for the water to warm!
Keeping Your Water Heater Cozy
Install a water heater jacket
If you have a traditional tank storage system that is a few years old, it may not be properly insulated. If the sides of the tank are warm to the touch, then you are loosing energy and money. Cover up your baby with a water heater blanket, the investment will benefit you in the long run by saving you around 4 – 9% on your annual water heating costs. The water heater blanket will probably pay for itself in a year. Note, not all water heaters are suited for a blanket so check your owners manual. Another helpful hint is to set the water heater temperature at between 50°C and 54°C. Leaving on a trip? Turn off the water heater before you leave. There’s no use keeping water hot when there’s no one using it.
When added together the above hints will put money back into your pocket, that’s always nice isn’t it?