Appliances play a major role in the monthly cost of our energy bill, which makes sense, but did you know there are ways to reduce the price they play on your energy budget?
An old, dirty and badly maintained appliance could be costing you hundreds of dollars! In this blog, we go over some of the top budget-busting appliances and what we can do to keep them in tip-top energy-saving shape, all year round.
Furnace: Heat Up Your Home, Not Your Energy Bill
Running a grimy, leaky furnace doesn’t just waste energy, it wastes money. A well-maintained unit is an essential part of reducing your monthly utility costs and ensuring you’re ready for any kind of winter weather. Stay warm and cozy while reducing your natural gas consumption, lowering your energy bills. Win-win.
An old, dirty furnace means that it probably isn’t running as efficiently as it could be. If your furnace has to work extra hard to pump heat throughout your house then that will show up on your energy bill. An annual furnace tune-up with an HVAC specialist ensures there are no costly leaks or damage. They will also replace your filters which should be done every 6 months at least.
Another great energy-saving tip is to close all the blinds and doors in rooms you don’t often use. This stops the furnace from working extra hard to heat rooms no one uses. The closed blinds help to reduce any heat from escaping through the glass or any cracks.
Washing Machine & Dryer: Scrub The Dollars Off Your Energy Bill
If you’ve noticed that your energy bills are a bit higher than usual, your washing machine could be the culprit. Traditional top-loading washing machines use a lot more water than their front-loading counterparts. High-efficiency designs are now available in both front-loading and top-loading setups; just keep in mind that the wash cycle on the top-loading, high-efficiency variety runs longer.
If you’re not yet in the market for a new machine, always wait until you have a full load ready before running the washer.
Don’t forget about the dryer!
While many of us rely on our dryers to speed up the laundry saga that seems to engulf our weekends, they can be major energy users. Whenever possible use a low heat setting on your dryer. While it might take a bit longer, you’ll use less electricity lowering your energy consumption.
Sort your clothes! Materials like nylon tend to dry faster than materials like cotton. When mixed in the same load you’ll often be over-drying some items while under-drying others. Beginning to sort your loads by material or thickness can help prevent you from having to run the dryer more times than you have to and save you energy.
Get your dryer vent cleaned! Getting your dryer vent cleaned prolongs the lifespan of your dryer, saves energy and reduces the risk of a dryer fire. Aim to have it cleaned professionally at least once a year for peace of mind and better energy efficiency. Not sure who to call? The pros at Rümi are the experts you can trust to get the job done safely.
Hot Water Tanks and Heaters: Warm, Cozy, Budget Friendly
A happy water heater is an efficient water heater. Keep it running in tip-top shape by ensuring sediments are routinely drained from the bottom of the tank and that the heating element is working as it should. Not ready to attempt this as a DIY project? No worries, these plumbing experts can tune up, maintain, or, repair and replace most makes and models — even in an emergency.
If you’re looking for a more energy-efficient way to heat your water consider a tankless water system. They take up less space, provide a continuous supply of hot water, and use up to 40% less energy than a traditional tank water heater since they don’t use natural gas.
Go one step further with your energy-saving efforts and insulate your hot water pipes. Insulated hot water pipes reduce heat loss and can deliver water that is 1°–3°C hotter than their uninsulated counterparts. This means you can lower the temperature setting on your hot water tank to save energy and money.
As an added bonus, you won't have to wait as long for hot water when you turn on a faucet or showerhead, which also helps conserve. Most importantly, proper maintenance of water pipes in colder months helps prevent a potentially disastrous pipe burst when the temps warm up again.
Air Conditioning: Cool That Energy Bill Down
Just like your furnace (or car!), your central air conditioning system requires regular maintenance to help it keep its cool. An A/C unit that has been rarely maintained can become a real energy sucker and can increase your energy bills.
The best way to ensure your A/C unit is functioning properly and not wasting energy is to get a professional out for an annual A/C tune-up and maintenance check. Expert technicians come and repair or replace whatever needs attention, ensure proper refrigerant levels, check coils, thoroughly clean your outdoor unit, and more.
If your unit is more than 10 years old, you’re noticing higher energy bills, or if your unit is having to run all the time to keep up, you may want to call in an expert. Other things to watch for:
- Strange sounds from the unit
- Odour coming from the unit
- Water leaking from the unit
- Higher utility bills
If you’re wanting to install or replace your A/C unit lookout for the unit SEER ratings. SEER stands for ‘Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio’ (the ratio of the cooling output of an air conditioner over a typical cooling season, divided by the energy it uses in Watt-Hours). The current minimum SEER is 14 for air conditioners. The higher the SEER, the more energy-efficient the unit and the more money you’ll save over time!
Looking For Some Energy-Saving Assistance?
ATCOenergy has a team of energy-saving experts that can offer you tips and tricks or point you towards professionals that can come assist. This is the year that you are no longer terrified of opening up your energy bill!
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