Energy Saving Tips
The first and most important step you can take to help ensure savings and lower energy consumption for your home is to ensure your building envelope is performing at its best. This means sealing air leaks, improving your wall and attic insulation, and installing ENERGY STAR® rated doors and windows.
Heating and Cooling
- Insulate your attic, ceiling, exterior and basement walls, floors and crawlspaces.
- Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
- Install a programmable thermostat.*
- Consider installing a “Most Efficient” ENERGY STAR® air source heat pump for year-round heating and cooling savings.
- If you have an air-source heat pump leave the temperature at one setting, do not move up or down more than 1°C.
- Put on a sweater and drop the thermostat by a degree or two.
- Reduce household temperature by 5°C during the day when no one is home and overnight when sleeping.*
- Keep your baseboard radiators clear. For example, don’t put a sofa in front of your radiator, because it will absorb a lot of the heat.
- Use insulated blinds (or just heavy curtains) during the winter, and close them at night so heat doesn’t escape through the windows.
- Keep blinds, shades and drapes closed during the hottest part of the day in the summer.
- Set the temperature on your ENERGY STAR® air conditioner to 25°C (77 °F) or higher during the summer months for even more savings.
* applies to electric baseboard and oil furnace heating only
- Keep your showers to five minutes or less and consider installing a low-flow showerhead.
- Install aerating, low flow faucets throughout your home to reduce hot water consumption by half for even more savings.
- Repair leaky faucets. Fixing a hot water leak can add up to big savings.
- Insulate or wrap your electric hot water heater.
- Insulate water pipes. Wrap the first two metres of hot water pipes running to and from the hot water heater. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or contact a professional.
- Lower the temperature on your hot water heater or boiler to 130°F (55°C) - you’ll save money and it’s safer for kids and seniors.*
- Use the economy setting on your washing machine whenever you can.
- Purchase an ENERGY STAR® qualified front loading washer. They use 45% less water and 25% less energy than top-loading models, plus you’ll save up to an additional 33% on your clothes dryer usage for even more savings.**
- Wash and rinse clothes in cold water, and always wash full loads.
- If your family uses a lot of hot water, consider installing a solar hot water system.
* The Canada Safety Council recommends a temperature setting no lower than 54°C for electric hot water heaters
In the Kitchen
- Save energy by using the microwave or toaster oven instead of your stove.
- Always set the dishwasher to air dry and only run the dishwasher when full.
- Be sure and use the energy saving features or settings on your dishwasher.
- Purchase an ENERGY STAR® qualified dishwasher when it’s time to replace your older unit.
- Set the temperature inside your refrigerator to the mid-level setting, usually 4°C.
- Vacuum your refrigerator coils regularly to keep it operating efficiently.
- Get rid of that old energy-guzzling second refrigerator for even bigger savings.
- Turn the oven off a couple of minutes before your food is finished cooking – many dishes will continue to cook while the oven is cooling.
- Thaw frozen foods before cooking or baking – food will cook faster and you’ll save more energy.
- Use the kettle to boil water for cooking, instead of heating a pan on the stove – it’s quicker and uses less energy.
- Use energy saving LED light bulbs, they last up to ten times longer and use approximately 75% less energy than ordinary bulbs.
- Having energy saving LED bulbs doesn’t mean you can leave the lights on longer – always turn them off when you leave a room.
- If you currently use compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), continue using them until the end of their service life and then replace them with new LED bulbs.*
- Replace outdoor incandescent wall and flood lights with newer LED bulbs, they come on instantly and are just as bright for big savings.
- Replace incandescent night lights with LED night lights, they’ll save you money and won’t get hot.
- Purchase only ENERGY STAR® qualified LED bulbs and fixtures.
- Choose LED bulbs based on how bright you want them to be. Look for 40, 60 and 100 watt replacement LED bulbs so you know they’ll be just as bright as your old bulbs.
- Choose the right LED bulb colour for your home including soft white (3000 K), bright white (4000 K) and daylight (5000 K).
- Make the switch from traditional holiday light strings to LED light strings for even bigger savings.
* Fluorescent lights (CFLs and fluorescent tubes) contain small amounts of mercury and should be handled with care. Please remember to dispose of your old CFL bulbs in a responsible manner by taking them to your nearest Waste Watch drop-off centre.