With energy and utility costs expecting to rise in the next few years, investing in environmentally friendly products can help you save energy, water—and perhaps most importantly, money. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of products that will help you live green.
Energy Efficient Bathroom Items
As much as 65% of all indoor water use occurs within the bathroom. If you’re not using low-water, energy efficient products, you’ll likely waste thousands of litres of water every year – which can add up financially over time. That’s why it’s important to optimize your home’s bathrooms with environmentally-friendly products; reducing your impact on the environment and reducing your family’s overall water waste.
Low Flush Toilets
Traditional toilets can use up to 18 litres of water per flush – wasting hundreds of dollars per year. In comparison, low-flush toilets are designed to use six litres of water or less per flush, which can add up to substantial savings over time. In fact, the CHMC conducted a study comparing water-efficient toilets to standard ones in a single-family dwelling; the results reported a 68% decrease in water consumption between the two.
Low Flow Shower Heads and Faucets
The average family of three can take approximately 1,000 showers throughout the year; with the average conventional showerhead using 18 to 27 litres of water per minute—the costs can add up quickly. Consider installing a low-flow unit that typically uses 9 to 11 litres per minute, saving thousands of litres per year.
Most showerheads and faucets are based on an aeration technique by adding air into the water stream. This creates an even, full shower spray despite using less water. Low-flow showerheads and faucets come in a variety of styles and finishes, so you’ll be able to maintain the luxurious feel of any bathroom, without wasting water and money.
Energy Efficient Kitchen Items
Opt for new energy efficient refrigerators and freezers when designing your kitchen; ideally choosing a model with an ENERGY STAR for optimal efficiency. In fact, although an ENERGY STAR fridge costs a little more to purchase initially, they’ve generally paid for themselves within a few years.
When selecting your refrigerator, consider the size of your family and the storage requirements you have. The average household requires a fridge between 16 and 22 cubic feet for optimal storage. Selecting a fridge that’s too small can cause overcrowding – which can become inefficient; likewise, a fridge that’s too big will just waste energy.
If your family requires a deep freezer, opt for a chest style over the upright models. Chest freezers are typically 25% more energy efficient than upright models that will continue to save you money in the long-run.
Energy Efficient Housing Items
High-Efficiency Water Heater
Heating water requires extensive amounts of energy, often heating the entire tank of water to maintain a temperature repeatedly. While this does, in fact, work well for most homes, opting for a high-efficiency water heater can save you energy and money. Look into purchasing a per use water heater, which heats the water at the time of use – instead of consistently warming it (for instance, when you’re sleeping or at work). This way, you’ll only use energy to heat water you’re using at that time – instead of around the clock when you don’t need it.
Likewise, you can also insulate any visible water pipes to help eliminate any heat loss as well. By insulating the pipes, you’ll help keep the temperature consistent and use less energy in the process.
Added Insulation for Extra Warmth
If you’re looking to save some money on your heating bill, consider adding extra insulation (like spray foam) to your home’s structure. But adding spray insulation, you’ll be left with a fuller, thicker coverage – keeping your house warm and toasty in the winter by keeping the cold out. Likewise, you can opt to add additional insulation to the attic and basement of your home as well, which can improve the energy efficiency of your home too.
Properly insulating your home can reduce your year-round energy usage by 20-60%, which can add up to considerable savings over time. Likewise, insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways to reducing your heating and cooling expenses over time.
Small Changes Add Up to Big Savings
While it might not seem like a lot of changes, making small improvements to your home’s structure and design can add up to considerable savings over the years. As more people understand the importance of living green, the value for homes with these features and qualities can hold or improve the retail value in the event they decide to resell down the road. Combined with the immediate savings you’ll see at the time of installation, having an energy efficient home is a no-brainer.