Re­duce home en­ergy us­age; help the en­vi­ron­ment and your bud­get

The Telegram (St. John’s) - Home Buyers' Guide - - METRO REGION -

The worldʼs cli­mate is chang­ing quickly, with most cli­mate sci­en­tists pre­dict­ing a ma­jor in­crease in global tem­per­a­tures over the next 20 to 50 years. Although govern­ments are do­ing things to meet the cli­mate change chal­lenge, ev­ery one of us can help by do­ing our bit to pre­vent ma­jor im­pacts on the en­vi­ron­ment, the econ­omy and hu­man health.

The earthʼs tem­per­a­ture has been in­creas­ing at record rates since the dawn of the In­dus­trial Age. Our use of fos­sil fu­els — oil, nat­u­ral gas and coal — has emerged as a ma­jor cause. We all know that each of us can be a part of the so­lu­tion by driv­ing our cars more ef­fi­ciently and by us­ing them less of­ten, but did you know that you can help by re­duc­ing home en­ergy use? Nat­u­ral Re­sources Canadaʼs Of­fice of En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency (OEE) of­fers the fol­low­ing easy en­er­gysav­ing tips:

✔ Set your ther­mo­stat back at night — for ev­ery de­gree you turn your heat down, youʼll save 2% in en­ergy costs. ✔ In­stall low-flow shower heads to re­duce your shower ʼs wa­ter use by 60 per­cent. ✔ Clean or re­place your fur­nace fil­ter once a month dur­ing the heat­ing sea­son.

✔ Caulk and seal the drafts around switches and out­lets on exter­ior walls and base­boards on the main floors. Also, seal the open­ings where plumb­ing or other ser­vices pen­e­trate your base­ment walls. ✔ Weather­strip your doors, win­dows and at­tic hatch. ✔ In­su­late your hot wa­ter tank and pipes.

✔ Think about re­plac­ing your re­frig­er­a­tor — to­dayʼs mod­els use at least 60 per­cent less en­ergy than re­frig­er­a­tors man­u­fac­tured 20 years ago. ✔ Re­move win­dow air con­di­tion­ers dur­ing win­ter.

An even bet­ter way to save en­ergy is to take ad­van­tage of the un­bi­ased, ex­pert ad­vice avail­able through the OEEʼs En­erGuide for Houses Pro­gram (EGH).

This ser­vice con­nects you with an EGH en­ergy ad­viser, who will make a de­tailed anal­y­sis of your house, con­duct a "blower door test" to find air leaks around win­dows and walls, and model dif­fer­ent up­grades in or­der to sug­gest the most cost-ef­fec­tive en­ergy-sav­ing op­tions for your home.

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