Outdated electrical wiring and connections can be dangerous. For example, if your home was built during the ‘70s, you may have aluminium wiring which has been implicated in a number of house fires and is no longer permitted in most areas. If you have knob and tube or aluminium wiring, you may struggle to get insurance or have higher premiums. If you are already looking to upgrade your electrics, here’s how to get the most out of every dollar while adding to the value of your home.
Invest in a smart meter so you can monitor your energy usage. Knowing how much energy you are using provides you with the information you need to make effective changes. A smart meter will record your energy usage and send the information to your computer where you can access it in real time. Start by checking your energy habits and switching major tasks like dishwashing and laundry to off-peak hours.
Invest in a smart thermostat. These regulate your HVAC system to match occupancy. That means when you are asleep or away, your smart thermometer will turn down your heating and AC. There are some caveats to effective savings with a smart thermostat; it takes about two years to cover installation costs and they must be utilized correctly. However, when they are, homeowners can look forward to savings of 10-12% for heating and 15% for cooling.
Appliances which are on standby still draw energy. These ‘vampire loads’ account for 10-15% of your hydro bill. Investing in a smart power bar will resolve this issue. Smart power bars have timers which turn off, so your appliances aren’t drawing electricity when you aren’t around.
Get Turned On
If you’re one of those people who are always telling the kids to turn the lights off, you’re right! Lighting takes up a big part of your energy bill. Luckily there are kid-free ways to reduce the amount you pay every month for lighting that don’t involve switching out your light bulbs.
Install dimmer switches in all those rooms which can use some ambient lighting. Dimmer switches utilize TRIAC switch technology which turns the electricity on and off hundreds of times a second in order to reduce the brightness of your light. This not only cuts electricity usage, it also prolongs the life of your lightbulbs by reducing the amount of heat they give off.
Does this really save energy? Yes, it does! Dimming your lights by 50% means your lightbulbs last 20 times longer and you reduce energy consumption by up to 40%.
If you do decide to install dimmer switches, take the opportunity to insulate behind the switch plate. Your switch plates are basically holes in your walls which compromise the efficacy of your building envelope.
Find incentives in your local area for energy-savings upgrades by clicking on the links below