That drip, drip, drip sound coming from your bathroom could be doing a lot more than keeping you up at night – it could be blowing a hole in your budget. Next time you walk through your home, pay attention – for a sky high utility bill could be in the making – from drafts to leaks to appliance that run 24/7. Then make some of these easy fixes to save big.
1. Put on a sweater – Is your thermostat higher than it needs to be? Set it just one degree lower and cut your energy bill by 3% – set it three degrees lower and save 10%. Keep yourself warm with a sweater during the day and a nice thick duvet at night – and save!
2. Put food colouring in your toilet – The most common place for water leaks is in the loo. Put food colouring in your toilet tank and wait without flushing for 10-15 minutes. If you see colour in the toilet bowl you have a leak – consider that a small hole can cost you as much $50.66 per day (yes, per day!)! Check this out for more.
3. Go off-peak – If you find ways to use power at off-peak times you could cut your energy bill in half. In Ontario, for example the rates per kilowatt hour are 14 cents at peak times and just 7.7 cents off-peak. Find out more here.
4. Run the water less – Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth or chill water in the fridge instead of running it to cool it off.
5. Ditch the chlorine pucks – If you use those blue pucks in your toilet you could be on the fast track for a leaky ($$$) toilet. All that chlorine corrodes the rubber and plastic parts in your tank.
6. Conquer the phantom – From DVD players to computers, most of us keep our appliances plugged in all night. This so-called “phantom” power use sucks energy from your home when you’re sleeping – costing the average Ontario household up to $100 a year. Consider plugging these appliances into a power bar you can easily turn on and off when you’re not using them.
7. Put five bucks in the fridge – The Ontario Government recommends you check for energy leaks in your fridge by closing the door on a five dollar bill. If it sticks you’re good – if not, you’ve got an energy-sucking problem with the seal.
8. Put in weather stripping – Doing this will keep the heat in and the cold out. It’s a cheap fix you can do on your own even if you’re not handy – this video explains how.
9. Become a label queen – Next time you’re shopping for a new appliance make sure you look for the EnerGuide label and for Energy Star models for more efficient models that will save you money.
10. Buy a clothesline – Skipping the dryer will definitely help you cut your energy bill.
11. Pick a light paint colour – Thinking of redecorating? Then keep your wallet in mind – lighter colours on the wall mean you’ll need to use less electricity to see.
12. Program it – Invest in a programmable thermostat to keep your home at the right temperature — at the right time. Why have that heat or A/C blasting when you’re not there or when you’re sleeping?
13. Filter it – Make sure you replace the filter in your furnace regularly — and check it every four weeks to make sure it’s clean and helping your furnace work efficiently.
14. Fill it up – When you’re running your dishwasher, make sure it’s full. Running half a load uses the same power (so why not wait until you can do twice as much for the money).
15. Don’t fall for this scam – Never sign a contract for a new water heater at your door – no matter how unsafe or inefficient they tell you yours is. These door to door sales people are all over Ontario – don’t take the bait. Find out more.