Tips & advice from Kelowna Electricians at Epic Electric
Electricity bills are only going one way – up. You can manage your water and heating use, and control how often you use your appliances. Also, a large part of your consumption depends on the type of home and your family situation. In an apartment or condo with two people you will naturally use less energy than in a detached house with a large family. Also, the year your home was built affects your energy bill. With older homes the electrical wiring can become more susceptible to faults and the insulation may wear thinner, resulting in higher energy consumption and higher bills. Here are 5 important electrical tricks you can implement to save you money.
Energy Star is the mark of high-efficiency products in Canada. The symbol makes it easy to identify the best energy performers on the market. Energy Star appliances help you conserve energy and thereby save money. Energy Star says that appliances bearing its label can cut those bills by 30 percent.
SWITCH IT UP
Replacing incandescent bulbs with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) is one of the quickest and easiest ways to save money. They last longer, are more efficient, don’t hum, and are safer to use. They even come in different colours. The lifespan of a LED is 50,000 hours to a fluorescent’s 10,000 and an incandescent’s mere 1,200. An incandescent bulb uses up to 90 percent of its energy to generate heat, while LED light bulbs use only bare minimal energy to heat loss. Another great incentive of switching to LED bulbs and energy efficient appliances is that BC Hydro and Fortis BC both give rebates towards these products.
SWITCH IT OFF
Always turn off lights in rooms you’re not in. Also, importantly, completely turn off all electrical appliances. Leaving an electrical appliance on standby still consumes power. Standby power accounts for 5-10 percent of home energy use, costing the average household as much as $100 per year. So don’t pay electricity for appliances that you’re not even using. Buy more economical LED-screen TVs and know that a laptop burns less power than a desktop computer. Use power strips that allow you to toggle the power flow on and off. This will allow you to control the power usage of groups of devices so that they’re not consuming electricity when you’re not around.
LIMIT APPLIANCE USE
Refrigerators and freezers are working day in and day out. With this type of product it is therefore more than ever recommended to pay attention to the energy label to ensure you have the most efficient device. To lessen the energy consumed by a refrigerator, clean the coils twice a year, as this will improve efficiency by up to 30 percent. Wash clothes at 30 degrees instead of 40; they’ll clean just as well at less power. Hang your clothes to dry instead of putting them in the dryer. Take shorter showers instead of longer baths. With your air conditioner, conduct basic maintenance – change the filter, lubricate the motor – to ensure peak efficiency.
A REGULAR CHECK UP
Like most things in life, having a regular check up is a good thing and will save you time, money and stress down the road. Having a certified electrician do a full inspection of your home’s electrical systems will ensure everything is operating safely and efficiently. Some homes built during the 1960’s and 1970’s include aluminum wiring, which may need to be recertified to ensure continued insurance coverage.