April 22 is Earth Day, which makes this month the perfect time to think about how to make your home as energy efficient and green as possible. It not only helps the environment and saves you money, but in the long run it will add value to your home’s worth. And, you’ll be playing your small part in the largest environmental event in the world!
Almost every area of your house can be made more energy efficient, from fixing leaking faucets to sealing window and door drafts to improving the insulation in your attic to replacing old appliances.
Savings that run hot and cold
About 60% of your home’s energy costs come from heating and cooling, while another 20% are from hot water. Making sure you have the most energy-efficient appliances is your first step.
Almost all energy providers have government-mandated programs that offer homeowners rebates and incentives to replace older, energy gobbling furnaces and air conditioners with high-efficiency units. Many provinces also offer energy-saving tax break incentives. It’s definitely worth doing your homework before your next appliance purchase or renovation.
Here are seven other ways to save energy and money:
1. Replace old fridges and freezers that are huge consumers of electricity. Look for incentives to do so from the government or your power company.
2. CFL or LED bulbs can use up to 75% less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than incandescents.
3. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature by a few degrees at night, or when you are away.
4. When purchasing appliances, be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol that identifies energy efficient products.
5. Wash your laundry in cold water.
6. Use motion sensor switches and timers to turn exterior lights on and off automatically.
7. Ceiling fans cost pennies to operate and can lower the temperature in a room by up to 2 degrees. In the winter, reverse them to force warm air down.
MCAP’s Home Account® and Home Account® Plus lines of credit can help create an energy-smart home by providing you with the funds to make your house as energy efficient as possible. Use the money to buy an energy-efficient furnace or air conditioning system, weatherproof your home with new windows and doors — or whatever else you need.
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