Cottages have been a way for people to escape the harsh winters and enjoy a summer getaway. Cottage season has become an important year, with many families investing in cottages as their primary vacation destination. But while they may be relaxing during this time, there are some ways that you can reduce your energy usage so that it is more efficient.
There are many ways to save energy both inside and outside the cottage to get the most out of your second home. Remember that saving energy might be simply the next time you go to the cottage, even while kicking up your feet.
Examine your Old Appliances
Cottages may quickly become the go-to location for old refrigerators, freezers, and other appliances. Even if you aren’t there all year, upgrading to ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances can help you save money. For example, an ENERGY STAR®-certified refrigerator uses 10% less energy than a regular one. Check the seal around your chest freezer to ensure it’s tight and securely closed. It’s simple to leave them slightly ajar, squandering energy (and worse, ice cream).
LED Light Bulbs
Installing new LED lightbulbs is perhaps the simplest way to increase energy efficiency. According to the US Department of Energy, replacing incandescent bulbs with 12-watt LEDs can reduce your energy use by up to 80%, a difference that will undoubtedly be reflected in your monthly bill.
Cleaning your vents is a simple enough remedy that you can complete on a Saturday morning and spend the rest of the day resting, albeit it is not as simple as the other two solutions.
If you have central heating and air conditioning, clear the intake vents of dust and hair since clogged vents might force your furnace to work harder than it needs to move the same amount of air. The condenser fins of your refrigerator may also require cleaning, and they will not be as efficient as they could be if they are covered in dust and will continue to squander your electricity and thus your money.
Planting Trees in the Surrounding Areas of the Cottage
Planting a tree or two near the building can help you save money on air conditioning in the summer by shading the structure with its branches. The tree can also serve as a windbreak in the winter, breaking up cold breezes, so the cottage doesn’t have to face them directly.
Stay Warm and Cozy Inside
Consider ceiling fans instead of air conditioning to keep cool on hot summer nights. Ceiling fans consume less electricity and can also be used as illumination. Then, acquire some weather stripping and caulking to close up gaps around windows and doors so you can stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Not only can weather stripping helps keep your cottage pleasant, but it may also keep annoying mosquitoes and blackflies out.
Upgrading your windows is one way to make your cottage more comfortable and efficient. With energy-saving windows, you can keep your cottage warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Additionally, weather stripping and caulking can help seal gaps around doors and windows, keeping out pests and saving you money on your utility bills.
Make the Most of Your Time Outside
Given that you’ll be spending the majority of your time outside, here are three simple strategies to maximize outdoor living while conserving energy:
For all of your cottage family meals, fire up the grill. Unlike stoves, ovens, or microwaves, Barbecues do not use power, so you may enhance your cottage experience without increasing your utility bill.
Make use of a cooler. It’s possible that constantly opening and closing the fridge and coming in and out of the cottage for all those cold drinks is a waste of energy. Furthermore, employing a cooler allows you to avoid overfilling your refrigerator and freezer, which causes them to cool inefficiently.
Laundry can be done at the cottage on long sunny days. To save even more electricity, hang clothes, sheets, and towels to dry on a clothesline or drying rack rather than using the dryer.
Make Time to Disconnect
Take a trip around the cottage if you’ll be spending most of the day outside, and unplug any equipment that may use phantom power when you’re not there, such as your TV, mobile phone chargers, or microwave. When you’re done with your stay at the cottage, do the same thing. A power bar with auto-on/off timer is another option. These power bars are perfect for turning off electronics when you’re gone or enjoying the sunshine.
Also, if you want to reduce your energy use, inform individuals to unplug their chargers while they are not in use. Chargers that are plugged in use power even if they are not charging anything. Televisions, audio systems, and small kitchen appliances are all in this category. So, if you’re serious about saving energy, make it a rule to unplug anything when it’s not in use. Your pocketbook will be grateful.
Then Become Astute
Outdoor motion sensor lighting can assist in saving energy from lights that are left on while also adding a layer of security. Consider solar-powered lights if your outdoor lighting is more attractive. They look excellent along the driveway or by the fire pit, allowing you and your family to spend more time outside after the sunsets.
Examine your water heater as well. Water heaters with smart timers can help turn off the electric heating element. Set a timer for your heater to switch off during the day, when electricity prices are highest (and you’re most likely at the beach, on the lake, or otherwise enjoying the outdoors).
Also, be mindful of the electronics you bring to the cottage. Many devices now have standby power modes, which use electricity even when turned “off.” To prevent phantom power waste, unplug devices when they’re not in use or invest in a smart power strip, which cuts off the power flow to devices that are not being used.
How Can I Reduce My Electric Bill at Home?
There are several ways to reduce your electric bill at home. One way is to upgrade to ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances. ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances use 10% less energy than regular appliances, so they can help you save money on your electric bill. Another way to reduce your electric bill is to use energy-efficient lighting, such as LED bulbs. LED bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, so they can help you save money on your electric bill. Finally, you can reduce your electric bill by weatherizing your home. Weatherizing your home means sealing any gaps or cracks in your walls and ceilings that could let in cold air. It can help you save money on your electric bill because your heater won’t have to work as hard to keep your home warm.
The steps you take to make your cottage more energy-efficient this winter can be significant cost savings for the next few years. You may have had some trouble with any wiring, but now is the time to call in an electrician and get it fixed before the cold weather sets in. Additionally, insulation should be installed around windows and doors and in the attic to keep warm air from escaping. Finally, make sure you have a suitable quality sealant around any gaps in your home where outside air could enter. By following these tips, you can be sure that your cottage will be more comfortable and less expensive to heat this winter.