Going Green with ShopCondo.com
At ShopCondo.com, going green and having the smallest environmental impact as possible is an extremely high priority for us, and is something we take very seriously. Being certified "Green Real Estate Agents" we have learned many things and we try our best to educate our clients and the general public.
We do send out only the minimum amount of print media that is necessary to get your condo the exposure it needs to sell. We definitely don't litter the city with flyer after flyer. When you do receive a ShopCondo mail piece, please keep in mind to Recycle! Thank you from the Team at ShopCondo.com
Take a look at our commission structure ...not only are we going green, but we will save you green!
The following are just a few of the simple things you can do in your condo to do your part for the enviroment, and save you a little money at the same time!
1) Switch to Compact Flourescent Light Bulbs(cfls)
Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
By switching from incandescent bulbs to more energy-efficient CFLs, you will save money on your lighting costs. Also, CFLs usually only need to be replaced every five to six years, which reduces the number of light bulbs you need to purchase.
CFLs use about 75% less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs to produce the same amount of light. By using less energy, you are reducing your environmental impact.
2) Switch from Incandescent to LED Holiday Lights
This year use holiday LED light strings to decorate your tree, windows, or entire house. These energy-efficient light strings use light-emitting diode (LED) technology that is superior to standard incandescent light strings.
Compared to holiday incandescent light bulbs, holiday LED strings:
use up to 95% less energy
last at least 10 times longer
are more durable, with no filaments or glass bulbs to break produce very little heat, reducing the risk of fire.
3) Replace Incandescent Nightlights
Nightlights that use light emitting diode (LED) or electroluminescent technology are now available. They use less than 1 watt of electricity (compared to 5-10 watts for an incandescent model) and last for at least 10 years. LED nightlights are generally brighter than electroluminescent models, which produce a light glow. Both LED and electroluminescent nightlights are cool to the touch, so they are safer for young children than incandescents.
4) Turn the Lights out when you dont need them
We've all heard this one before, but remembering to turn out the lights can have a powerful effect on your electricity consumption. Lighting in your home accounts for 5% to 10% of your total energy use. By making it a habit to turn off the lights when you leave a room, you can contribute to conservation while lowering the total cost of your electricity bill.
5) Turn off your Computer when not in use
One of the most important things you can do to reduce energy consumption is to turn your computer, monitor, printer and any other peripherals off when you aren't using them. The notion that computers consume large amounts of energy when starting up is a myth. Similarly, it's false that constant start-ups damage computer components.
It is more cost-effective to shut the computer down when you are finished using it, and doing so also reduces wear on your system. Shut down and save money!
6) Unplug Chargers and turn off Power Bars
When a power adapter for a cell phone, laptop or digital camera is plugged in, it continues to draw energy even if it is not connected to the device. Also, many electronic devices continue to use power even when you are not operating them. Printers, scanners, modems, televisions, set-top cable boxes and DVD players often use power in “standby mode.”
The best way to save energy and money here is to plug your electronics and chargers into power bars that can be easily turned off, and shut them down when you don't need them.
7) Turn off your Video Game Consoles when not playing
This is an easy one: if nobody’s playing, turn off your video game consoles to save electricity.
8) Hang Dry your Clothes to save electricity
An electric clothes dryer typically uses the most electricity of any appliance in a home. Reduce the energy your dryer consumes by air-drying your clothes whenever possible. An outdoor clothesline uses heat from the sun and the flow of air to dry your clothes – and those are both free. An indoor clothes rack may take longer to dry, but it is still an energy-efficient alternative to the clothes dryer. Be careful to avoid humidity problems if you dry your clothes indoors during the winter months
9) Wash you Clothes in cold water
The single most important thing you can do to reduce the energy consumption of your clothes washer is use cold water. Water heating accounts for 90% of the energy consumption of washing machines and washing machines are capable of cleaning with great results in cooler water temperatures.
Also, when it's time to buy a new clothes washer, be sure to choose an ENERGY STAR® labelled model.
10) Check the Temperature of your Fridge or Freezer
Check your fridge
The temperature inside your refrigerator should be 4°C (39°F). This is usually the mid-level setting on the temperature controls for most refrigerators. Use a thermometer to check the temperature and adjust accordingly.
Check your freezer
The temperature inside your freezer should be -18°C (0°F). Each additional degree you lower the temperature increases energy use by about 5%
11) Dont use the heat-dry feature on your dishwasher
Most dishwashers have a built-in electric heating element that bakes dishes dry. The "no-heat" dry feature circulates room air through the dishwasher and uses less energy. If your dishwasher does not have a "no-heat dry" option, turn the dishwasher off after the final rinse and open the door to air-dry.
Use energy-saving wash cycles
Most dishwashers have various wash cycles you can select. The energy-saving feature helps you use less water and save energy.
Wash only full loads
The dishwasher will use the same amount of water if it is half empty or completely full. Load dishes until the machine is full, according to manufacturer's directions. This will allow for optimum performance.
If you are buying a new dishwasher, choose an ENERGY STAR® labelled model.
12) Turn your Thermostat down at night when you are not at home
Making up about 50% of your energy bill, heating is the single largest use of energy in most homes. Controlling the thermostat is one of the easiest and most economical ways to control your energy costs. The lower the temperature you set for heating, the more money you will save. Setting the thermostat back from 21°C to 16°C at night can result in energy savings of up to ten per cent.
Also, it's not true that a furnace has to work harder to warm your house back up. The energy needed to reheat a building is approximately equal to the energy that was saved when the building temperature first dropped. You save energy between the time that the temperature stops at the lower level and the next time the heat is turned up. Therefore, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save.
Alternately, you could consider installing a programmable thermostat, which remembers to adjust the temperature for you.
13) Install a Programable Thermostat
Lower your heating (and cooling) costs by about 10% with a programmable thermostat. It will automatically regulate the temperature in your home to preset levels at different times of the day.
Programmable thermostats are inexpensive, priced between $25 and $100, and can pay for themselves in a matter of months. Buy one that is easy for you to use.
If you program your thermostat to set back the temperature by five degrees for eight hours of every night, you will save approximately 10% on your heating bill. If you also set back the temperature while you are away from home in the day, you will see even bigger savings.
Health & comfort
These thermostats work well for people who do not like to come home to a cooler house. You can set them to follow your regular schedule so they turn off when you are out and turn back on before you arrive home. You can also set them to stay off when you are going to be out of town, but come back on a few hours before you return.
A programmable thermostat won’t forget to turn down the heat when you leave the house and it is a great deterrent to household members who rush to the thermostat every time they get a chill
14) Shade Your Windows
Heat loss from windows can account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill in winter. Window coverings can be a quick and cost-effective way to cut heat loss, block cold drafts and save 5% to 15% of your energy expenses.
Blinds and drapes vary widely in price. They don’t need to be expensive to provide insulation. Long-term savings from improved home heating efficiency will largely offset the upfront costs.
Window coverings can save 5% to 15% off your energy bills in winter by keeping your home warmer and they can help keep your home cooler in summer as well.
Health & comfort
Window coverings make your home more comfortable by reducing drafts and holding heat in. If you find window coverings that you like, you will be more likely to use them well.
15) Identify and Fix Leaks
A leaky faucet can waste 11,350 litres (2,500 gallons) or more every year. If the leak is in a hot water pipe or faucet, the energy savings should easily pay for fixing the leak. A leaky toilet can waste hundreds of litres of water per day. Finding and fixing these leaks is essential to home water savings.
Worn-out washers are the main cause of leaks in faucets and showerheads and a new one generally costs about 25 cents. A leaky toilet can often be repaired by simply cleaning off the flapper valve. In some cases, you may have to replace the toilet’s flapper or flush valve. These parts are generally inexpensive and can be found in most hardware stores.
Fixing a hot water leak in your faucet can save up to $33 per year in fuel costs
Health & comfort
Fixing leaks helps prevent mold growth and structural damage from hidden water sources.
By conserving water, we reduce the need for new infrastructure such as dams and water treatment plants. This helps avoid the negative impacts of new dams and saves the entire community money.
16) Save Water in the Kitchen
The best way to save money when it comes to water use is simply to reduce the overall amount of water you use. This will not only save money on water, but will also affect your energy costs as you will require less energy to heat water. In the kitchen, there are many things you can do to use water more efficiently.
Conserving water in the kitchen generally requires only moderate changes in your water use habits. Once you get accustomed to doing things a little bit differently, you will enjoy a functioning kitchen and feel good about not wasting water and money.
Installing a low-flow aerator on your kitchen sink could save you $28 per year in hot water costs.
Turning off faucets when not required saves energy and water. If 10,000 B.C. households shut off kitchen faucets when not in use, we could save 130 million litres of water per year. The energy savings would be equivalent to the energy needed to power 100 average Canadian homes for one year.
17) Save Water in the Bathroom
There are many opportunities to reduce water use in your bathroom, ranging from simple changes to your bathing and grooming habits to retrofitting your bathroom with low-flow showerheads and dual flush or low-flush toilets.
The implementation costs for saving water in your bathroom are relatively low, but the water and energy savings are significant.
Turning the water off when shaving, washing hands and brushing teeth can save about $55 per year. If just one person in your home showers for one minute less than their usual showering time, you could save $23 each year – for a family of four, that adds up to $92!
If 10,000 B.C. households turned off the bathroom faucet while shaving, washing hands, brushing teeth, etc, energy savings would be equivalent to the annual energy used to power 200 average Canadian homes.
What you need to know
- Take shorter showers. Use a timer to limit your showers to five minutes or less. Also, turn off the water while lathering.
- Install a low-flow showerhead and faucet aerator.
- Check for leaks and repair leaky toilets or faucets.
- Install dual-flush toilets or low-flush toilets that use six litres of water or less per flush. Find out about possible rebates for installing dual-flush or low-flush toilets. It is also possible to convert your existing low-flush toilet to a dual-flush toilet for even more water savings. A Canada Housing Mortgage Corporation (CHMC) study found dual-flush toilets saved an average of 26% more water than the single-flush six-litre toilets and as much as 68% more water than conventional toilets used in single-family dwellings.
- Flush less often.
- Do not use your toilet as a garbage can.
Other ways to reduce water use in the bathroom
- Do not leave the faucet running when you’re brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving.
18) Run Full Loads
Your dishwasher and laundry appliances use a lot of energy and water and contribute significantly to your utility bills. Doing fewer loads will greatly reduce your energy costs. For maximum savings and optimal performance, only run these appliances when they are fully loaded.
What you need to know
- Load dishes according to manufacturer’s instructions, but allow proper water circulation for adequate cleaning.
- Scrape dishes instead of rinsing before loading.
- The dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether it’s half-full or completely full. Storing dirty dishes in the dishwasher during the day and running it once in the evening will use less water and energy than washing small batches by hand throughout the day.
- Use energy-saving wash cycles. Most dishwashers have various wash cycles you can select. The energy-saving feature helps you use less water and save energy.
- Load the clothes washer to capacity when possible. Most people tend to under-load their washing machines. One large load of laundry will use less energy than two small or medium loads.
- Don’t use the heat-dry feature on your dishwasher. Most dishwashers have a built-in electric heating element that bakes dishes dry. The "no-heat" dry feature circulates room air through the dishwasher and uses less energy. If your dishwasher does not have a "no-heat dry" option, turn the dishwasher off after the final rinse and open the door to air dry.
19) Use a Low Flow Shower Head
The hot water that many of us take for granted can account for a substantial portion of a household’s total energy costs – as much as 25%. In many cases, showers can be the largest single contributor to overall hot water use in a home. Even a modest 10-minute shower can use up to 190 litres (42 gallons) of hot water with a conventional showerhead. A low-flow showerhead can reduce this by half, or even more, without sacrificing the "feel" of the shower. There are a wide variety of low-flow showerheads available, including hand-held and designer models.
Replacing a conventional showerhead with a low-flow model – as inexpensive as $15 – is usually a very quick and simple job. The payback for installing low-flow showerheads is almost immediate, depending on the frequency of showers.
A family of three may take almost 1,000 showers per year. If conventional showerheads were replaced with low-flow options, you could save 26,600 litres of hot water and between $80 and $100 annually on your energy costs, depending on whether you use natural gas or electricity to heat your water.
Low-flow showerheads save energy and water. If 10,000 B.C. households switched to low-flow showerheads, the annual energy savings could power 300 Canadian homes for a year.
20) Limit Energy Use when Cooking
Using a full-size oven is not always necessary. Smaller appliances, like toaster ovens and slow cookers, can often get the job done for less, especially when cooking smaller meals. Using the right tool for the job will save energy – and money.
If your lifestyle makes it difficult to plan meals ahead far enough to use a crockpot, try a pressure cooker. Pressure-cooking is fast, saves energy and cooks the nutrients into your food.
A microwave takes 15 minutes to do the same job as an hour of cooking in an electric oven. Make this energy-efficient choice four times a week and save more than $20 per year on your electricity bill.
What you need to know
Small cooking appliances
- Most small appliances use about half the wattage of an electric oven to do the same job.
- Keep small appliances away from cold drafts to ensure they do not have to work so hard to stay warm.
- Keep all appliances clean and well maintained.
21) Install Lighting Controls
Installing lighting controls, such as dimmers, timers, motion sensors and photocells, can be a simple and efficient means of reducing lighting energy use and costs.
When lights are left on unnecessarily, or areas are lit excessively, energy costs increase. Automatic lighting controls allow you to control the amount of lighting in an area and have it turn on just for the time it is needed.
Each hour that an unneeded light operates represents an unnecessary expense. Energy-efficient retrofits for outdoor lighting, which provide the same light with less energy and turn lights off when they are not needed, can cut annual costs significantly.
Health & comfort
Having lights and other appliances on timers can increase comfort and safety in the home. You can control lighting so it is on when and where you need it and ensure appliances are never left on accidentally. Motion sensors are a good choice for controlling outdoor security lighting. The motion sensor keeps the lights on as long as there is movement. After motion has stopped (the lapse time is adjustable), the detector switches the lights off.
22) Adjust Lighting for the Right Job
Arrange the lighting in a room so you can adjust the lighting level for different uses and times of day. Use lamps and track lighting to focus bright light on areas where you do detailed work, like your desk or kitchen counter. Dimmer switches and tri-light switches will allow you to adjust the lighting level to match needs. Direct lighting to illuminate specific areas instead of relying on ceiling fixtures that light entire rooms.
Dimmer switches run anywhere from $15 to $60. It is important to look for a good quality dimmer switch to maximize efficiency. Task lighting includes track lighting, desk lamps and floor lamps, which vary in price and quality.