Retired couple doing laundry by hanging washed load onto a drying rack

Three ways to make retirement energy efficient

With simple upgrades at home, you can live comfortably all year long, while also saving on monthly electricity bills.

As you move into a life of retirement, you may find yourself spending more time with friends and family, and around your home. We’ve put together three tips to help you make your space comfortable while also helping you save on energy costs in the years to come.

1. Create the right atmosphere with LED lights

The right lighting can not only transform a room; it can also help take the strain off eyes when focusing on activities like reading or cooking. Consider placing task-specific lighting in areas like the kitchen or bedroom, these lights can ensure areas are well lit while using less energy.

Another great way to save is by replacing your lightbulbs with ENERGY STAR-certified LED bulbs. LEDs last much longer than their incandescent counterparts, so this simple upgrade can eliminate the hassle of changing lightbulbs often. Plus, they use 70 to 90 per cent less electricity, which can help keep energy bills in check.

Want to learn more about LEDs?

Check out our LED buying guide to learn how to find the right LED bulb for your home.

2. Consider new routines for household chores

Making small changes to your routine can help reduce the load of day-to-day tasks, while also saving energy.

Take your laundry as an example. There are simple ways you can reduce your energy use when putting loads to wash or dry. Start by doing laundry during off-peak hours when electricity costs are at their lowest. Off-peak hours take place in the evening and on weekends. You can learn more about electricity pricing by visiting the Ontario Energy Board website. You can also make your laundry routine more efficient by:

  • Washing on “high-speed” or “extended spin” cycle. This option removes more water from your clothes before it gets thrown in the dryer, helping to reduce dryer time.
  • Washing in cold water to save on water heating costs. If hot water is needed, an alternative option is setting your cycle to wash in hot water, and rinse in cold water.
  • If you have the space, hang your clothing to dry on a rack or on a drying line to avoid the use of the dryer entirely.

If you’re looking to replace your washer and dryer for a newer model, consider purchasing with energy efficiency in mind. ENERGY STAR-certified washer and dryers use about 25 per cent less energy and 33 per cent less water than regular washers.

Do you live in a condo?

Condo dryers commonly have two lint traps, the familiar trap located at the front of the dryer, and another located on top. Clean both regularly to help the dryer perform efficiently and to prevent fires.

3. Keep it insulated

Are you feeling a draft indoors? To save on energy bills and stay comfortable, start by preventing drafts in the first place by weather stripping. This is the process of sealing openings around doors and windows to better barricade your space against the elements. Weather stripping can range in cost, but a DIY weather stripping job can be relatively inexpensive.

If money allows, follow up with a larger investment, like improving insulation. Focusing on the attic is often a good first step before moving to other areas as needed. Insulation ensures that energy bills aren’t more than they have to be throughout the year while keeping you cozy and comfortable.

Looking for energy-efficiency help? The Energy Affordability Program offers no-cost energy efficiency upgrades for income-qualified residents. Learn more about the program here.

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