Homeowner Tips

Heating

  1. Complete annual maintenance on your furnace. This will ensure your furnace is operating at top efficiency and it will use less energy and cost less to operate.

  2. Replace furnace filters when dirty. Airflow is reduced when the filter is dirty, so the furnace has to run longer to heat your home.

  3. Lower your thermostat at night while you are sleeping or when no one is home.

  4. Install a programmable thermostat. You could save 1-2% on your heating bill for every 1o Celsius that you turn down your thermostat.

  5. When adjusting your thermostat, do not adjust it past the desired room temperature. Doing so will not make the room warm up any faster. It’s easy to forget to turn it back down which can waste energy dollars.

  6. Apply weather-stripping to exterior doors and windows to prevent heat loss in your home.

  7. Apply a sealant or caulking around windows, doorframes, sills and joints.

  8. Use plastic window covers to help prevent heat loss during the winter time. Up to 25% of heat loss occurs through windows.

  9. Do not place furniture, rugs or curtains over heating vents and return air grills. This ensures that there is no interference with the flow of heat in your home.

  10. On sunny days, open your curtains on south facing windows to let the sun help heat your home.  If you have large windows that do not receive direct sunlight, keep the curtains closed. Keep curtains/blinds closed during the night to help keep heat in.

  11. Insulate or fill holes around pipes, ducts, fans or vents that go through walls, ceilings or floors from heated to unheated spaces.

Water

  1. Install low-flow showerheads and faucets. These showerheads can save up to 15% of hot water costs, while faucet aerators can reduce water usage by about 10%. Low-flow showerheads and faucets are typically rated at 1.0 - 2.5 GPM (gallons-per-minute).

  2. Wash full loads of dishes in your dishwasher and air-dry dishes.

  3. Avoid washing dishes in hot running water. Fill the sink up halfway and scrub away.

  4. Lower the temperature on your water heater to between 55 and 60 degrees Celsius.

  5. Conserve water by fixing drips and leaks.

  6. Turn off water when brushing your teeth or shaving instead of leaving it running.

  7. Take short showers rather than baths. A five-minute shower uses about half as much water as a bath.

  8. Install a water-saver flush kit in your toilet. You would save thousands of liters of water per year.

  9. Think about replacing large-volume toilets with 6-litre-per-flush models. You would save roughly 70% of the water used.

Lighting

  1. Turn off the lights as you leave a room.

  2. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, which last up to ten times longer. A single 20-25 watt energy efficient light bulb provides as much light as a 100-watt ordinary bulb.

Laundry

  1. Use cold water when doing your laundry.  Most of the energy used to wash your clothes is used to heat the water.

  2. Wash full loads of laundry rather than partial loads. You will save water, time, and money.

  3. Consider buying a front loading energy efficient washing machine. They use less water, less energy, and require less detergent.

  4. If at all possible, hang-dry your clothes to avoid using the dryer.

  5. When using your clothes dryer, be sure to clean the filter before every load.

  6. Use the dryer for consecutive loads. The built-up heat means less energy spent.

Transportation

  1. Walk when possible instead of driving a vehicle, snowmobile or quad.

  2. When purchasing a vehicle, look for one that has good mileage.

  3. Let your clothes dry on a drying rack rather than use your clothes dryer.

  4. Buy an electrical timer to plug your vehicle into. Engine block heaters only need to run for 2-3 hours to sufficiently warm an engine.

Appliances

  1. Turn off your computer, TV and other appliances when they are not in use.

  2. When replacing appliances, look for high efficiency, energy star appliances. These typically use a minimum of 20% less energy.

  3. Run your dishwasher or do laundry early in the day or later in the evenings when energy demands are lower. Avoiding energy use during extreme hot or cold spells can also benefit consumers.

  4. Think about replacing your old refrigerator with a new energy-efficient refrigerator. Today’s Energy Star® qualified refrigerators use 50% less energy than models made 10 years ago.

  5. If sensor is available on your clothes dryer, use this setting to automatically turn the machine off when the clothes are dry.

  6. Buy a fridge and/or freezer that is only as big as you need. One that is too big wastes energy and money. Believe it or not, it takes less energy to cool a full refrigerator or freezer (as long as it’s not so packed that air cannot circulate) than it does an empty one. Chest freezers are more energy efficient than upright ones, as there is less cold air lost when the door is opened.

  7. Keep refrigerators and/or freezers at the recommended temperatures. Refrigerators should be kept at 1’C – 3’C, while freezers should be kept at -18’C.

  8. Try to open the refrigerator door less. Every time the door is opened, warm air rushes in and energy must be used to cool it back down.

  9. Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers. Greater amounts of energy are used to keep the motor running when there is frost buildup.

  10. Move the refrigerator out from the wall once a year to vacuum its condenser coils (unless you have a “no clean” condenser model). It will run for shorter periods of time with clean coils and use less energy.

  11. Use your microwave or toaster oven instead of your conventional oven. It can save up to 50% of your cooking energy costs.

  12. Use an electric kettle instead of heating water on a stove-top element or in the microwave. Choose one with an automatic shut-off.

  13. Clean your electric kettle regularly with boiling water and vinegar. This reduces the buildup of mineral deposits that reduce its energy efficiency.

Energy Tips

Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers. Greater amounts of energy are used to keep the motor running when there is frost buildup.

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