It seems as if it gets more and more expensive to maintain a cottage these days, especially when the cost of energy appears to be skyrocketing. So in order to keep your home away from home from costing you an arm and a leg, it’s essential to employ some cost-cutting measures. Here are a few easy ways to reduce your cottage energy bill.
1. Unplug Between Visits
By now, most everyone has heard the term phantom load. This refers to energy that is drawn by certain electrical devices even when they aren’t turned on. These devices can include TVs, computers, and cell phone chargers. In fact studies have shown that leaving a 17” TV plugged in can add up $14.51 to your annual energy bill. Pair that with several other devices and the dollars can really add up. That’s why it’s best to unplug all unnecessary devices when you leave the cottage for the week and especially when you close up at the end of the season.
2. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs
One of the easiest ways to save energy, both at the cottage and at home is by trading in your old incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent lights. These energy-efficient bulbs use 75% less power than the incandescent variety and last up to 10 times longer. That means you can use less energy and reduce waste, because you won’t need to replace your bulbs as frequently.
3. Cook more meals outdoors
You’re in the great outdoors so why not eat like it? Turn the stove off and head outside for some cooking on the grill, over a campfire, or enjoy cold suppers. Cranking up the stove can cost you quite a bit of energy, even if it’s only to prepare a pot of mac and cheese.
4. Install energy efficient window treatments
There are several different types of energy efficient window treatments available to cottage owners. Three of the most popular options are:
• Awnings – Installing awnings over your windows can reduce solar heat gain by up to 77%
• Interior Blinds –Highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by approximately 45%
• Blackout Curtains – Installing medium coloured curtains with white backings can reduce heat gains by 33%
5. Switch to a tankless water heater
Switching to a tankless water heater can do wonders for the energy efficiency of your cottage. These newer water heaters differ from traditional models by heating water on demand through the use of a heat exchanger, rather than holding and heating large quantities of water, as is done with the traditional system.
Activated by incoming water, the heat exchanger eliminates standby heat by efficiently heating cold water to a pre-set temperature. This is done with the help of electric coils or a gas-fired burner, depending on whether you choose an electric, propane, or natural gas model.
You won’t waste energy unnecessarily keeping large quantities of water hot during the times when you are away from your cottage. Tankless water heaters also take up far less room than traditional options and are easily drained when it’s time to close the cottage at the end of the season.
To learn more about installing a tankless water heater in your cottage, please contact your local Reliance Home Comfort expert.