For some people, it might seem strange to talk about energy saving ideas in the middle of summer. When most people think about how to save energy, they’re thinking about things to hold the heat in.
But this is a great time to be checking your home and making changes. Whether you’re in the heart of Clayton Heights or even if you’re on the outskirts of Surrey, our summer temperatures are perfect for working on your home. Here are 5 tips to get you on the energy train to savings:
Start with Your Budget
Before you head anywhere or buy anything, it’s best to look at your budget now. Determine how much money you have to spend, and then use the information from your audit (below) to see where those resources can best be used to yield the best savings. If your plugs and door jambs are letting air out, but your water heater is wasting more energy, it’s a better move to spend your budget where the savings come back. Some Clayton area homes have saved between 15-30% on their energy costs by making upgrades.
Audit: Find Your Problem Areas
The most important part of upgrading your home for energy savings is to know how much energy is being lost by conducting an audit. There are two ways to get an energy audit:
Professional Audit: A professional audit provides exact information on where your energy is being lost, and the ways you can overcome them. Any Clayton electrical utility provider will have ways to conduct an audit.
DIY Audit: Doing an audit yourself will not give you the same precision you might get from a professional audit, but it will help you target those most critical areas to upgrade. There are great resources online to get you started.
Audits reveal things that homeowners wouldn’t have considered energy wasters. Once you’ve uncovered them, it’s best to go back to your budget and look at what can be done based on the size of the lost energy and cost to upgrade. Right now, you have several months to save for upgrades before the winter season hits, so you can plan a future budget to get on track in time for that cooler BC weather.
Make the (Up)grade
Once it’s time to get started, determine who you need and gather quotes from contractors. If you have the training to do your own work, go for it. But if you think that because you can do an audit yourself, that you should be able to do electrical too, stop that thought right there. I would bet that putting power bars near your TV and media centre is easy enough for you to do, and that’s great. But let professionals work on the areas you’re less comfortable with, especially those that pose any risk.
Plan and Stick to It
Sometimes, little upgrade items will fall down the list once the big stuff gets done. Don’t let that happen! Go back to your list of priorities and develop a plan for how and when you want to tackle these items. Insulating the hot water pipe from your water heater is an easy enough task to be pushed back by your fall backyard/basement cleanup list, but that insulation will continue to save you money in the future. Every energy-saving act you do will save you money for as long as you live in your home. Now, that’s a very reassuring thought!
If you have any questions about energy savings for your Clayton home, or if you are looking to buy or sell a home in the Surrey or Cloverdale area, let’s talk about it.