ENERGY-SAVING TIPS

Published on: September 13, 2022

There are lots of ways to save energy at home! From no-cost behaviour changes like turning off your lights to large renovations like insulating your basement, making your home more energy efficient is always within reach. We compiled some of the best tips to help you save energy, money, and the environment all around your home.

SPACE HEATING & COOLING

  • Schedule regular maintenance for your heating and cooling equipment. Your equipment will last longer and run more efficiently.
  • Change your furnace air filter every three months.
  • Adjust your thermostat at night or when you’re not at home. In the winter, lower the temperature by 3°C or more for at least eight hours a day to save up to 4% on heating costs. In the summer, increase the temperature by 3°C or more for at least eight hours a day to save up to 4% on cooling costs.
  • Consider buying a smart thermostat. It can be controlled remotely to set and adjust the air temperature of your home. It can also learn from your behaviour and adjust the temperature when you’re at home or away.
  • In the winter, save energy by opening your shades in the morning on the sunny side of your house and closing them late in the day. In the summer, close your windows and shades during the day to keep warm air out and block heat from the sun’s rays.
  • Keep your exhaust fans in good condition. Use them when you’re showering or boiling water to help reduce moisture that can lead to the growth of mould.
  • Install exhaust fan timers. They help to ensure proper ventilation and save energy.
  • Adjust your HRV control to match your ventilation needs. Also remember to adjust the humidity control seasonally.
  • If you don’t have an HRV, your furnace can help. Set your furnace’s fan to run continuously even if the heat isn’t on to keep the air in your home moving.

WATER HEATING

  • Turn the thermostat on your water heater down to 49°C.
  • Install pipe insulation on the hot and cold water lines of your water heater.
  • Reduce the amount of water you have to heat by installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. Using less water will also reduce your water bills.
  • Repair leaky faucets. Leaking indoor and outdoor faucets can account for up to 10% of your energy bill.
  • Planning on being away for an extended period? Turn your natural gas water heater to vacation mode.

AIR SEALING & WEATHERPROOFING

  • Install weatherstripping, caulking, and gaskets around doors, windows, and electrical outlets to reduce air leakage and save energy.
  • Caulk the interior side of your window and door frames.
  • A low-cost alternative to upgrading your windows from double- to triple-pane is to install a window insulating kit on the interior sides of the windows. This results in energy savings and reduces condensation build-up on windows.

LIGHTING

  • Turn off lights when you leave a room.
  • Install LED bulbs and fixtures throughout your home. They use up to 80% less electricity than incandescent lighting and can last up to 25 years.
  • Install dimmers, timers, motion sensors, and home automation to control your lights and save even more energy.

APPLIANCES

  • Set your fridge thermostat to 4°C and your freezer to -18°C.
  • Clean your refrigerator coils regularly to ensure efficient heat dissipation. Vacuuming the grill beneath or behind your refrigerator regularly will help extend the life of your refrigerator compressor.
  • Put a piece of paper in your fridge door and close the door. If the paper slides out when you pull it, there’s a good chance the seal isn’t tight and should be cleaned or replaced.
  • Let hot food cool slightly before putting it in the fridge. This will keep your fridge from having to work too hard to stay cold.
  • Make sure to run full loads of laundry (but don’t overfill – this can damage the machine).
  • Wash your laundry in cold water when possible. Try a laundry detergent that’s specifically formulated for cold water washing.
  • Clean your dryer filter after each load to improve air circulation and drying efficiency.
  • When possible, air-dry clothes instead of using a dryer. Use a drying rack (humidity permitting) or hang clothes outside.
  • Always run full loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
  • Use an energy-saving cycle if your dishwasher has one. Your dishwasher will run at a lower temperature, use less hot water, and save energy

ELECTRONICS & PLUG LOAD

  • Unplug appliances and electronics when they’re not in use.
  • Use advanced power strips. Unlike regular power strips, advanced power strips work to reduce your energy use by shutting down devices that go into standby mode. Standby power can account for 10% of household electricity use.
  • Set gaming consoles to standby mode when they’re not being used. When left idle, the average gaming system can use 90 watts of power, which can cost you an extra $60 in electricity each year.
  • Use an outdoor car plug timer to save energy and money. A block heater only needs to be turned on for three hours before starting your car – even on the coldest of nights.
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