Energy Conservation Tips
Heating + Cooling
Heating and cooling your home accounts for about 60% of your
Warm to these cool tips to make a big impact on your energy bill.
TIP: Install ceiling fans and use
them to supplement or even as an alternative to air conditioning – ceiling
fans generally use very little electricity. Make sure your fan is blowing air
downwards in summer.
- To save money on heating costs, reduce the temperature of your home a few
degrees at night and when you’re away.
- Keep blinds, shades and drapes closed during the hottest part of the day
in the summer. (And open south-facing blinds on sunny winter days!)
- Use area rugs on cold floors – if your feet are cold, your body will
- If you feel cool, put on a sweater rather than simply turning up the
- Clean or replace the air filter on your furnace every month to improve
- To save more on central AC costs, try cooling your home to only 24 or 25 C
instead of the low 20’s. Each degree below 26 C will noticeably increase
your electricity use!
- Turn off unnecessary lights in the house (they produce a lot of heat which
works against the AC.)
Water Heater Tips
- Be sure to use the vacation setting or turn off the water heater when you
are out of town.
- Fix leaky faucets – that little drip can add up to 95 litres of water
per faucet per month, and cost you 7 kWh per month.
- Installing low flow aeraters on faucets can save water and energy.
- Drain a pail of water from your natural gas hot water tank every 3 months,
or as recommended by the manufacturer, to remove sediment that prevents heat
transfer, lowering the unit’s efficiency.
- Set the temperature for only as cold as you need; check manufacturer’s
- Don’t keep that old, inefficient refrigerator running in the basement
for occasional refreshments. It could cost you $150 or more per year in
- Don’t overfill the refrigerator, as this blocks air circulation.
Conversely, a full freezer will perform better than an empty one.
- Check your refrigerator’s door seal by closing the door on a $5 bill. If
it’s held tightly in place, the seal’s OK; if not, the door should be
adjusted or the seal replaced.
- Clean your refrigerator’s coils (back) and air intake grill (below the
doors) every 3 months.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers out of direct sunlight, and allow at least
5 centimetres all around (or as recommended by the manufacturer) to allow
heat to escape from the compressor and condensing coil.
- Allow hot foods to cool before putting them in the refrigerator.
- Don’t waste hot water by pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the
dishwasher – just scrape off food and empty liquids.
- Air dry your dishes – you can save 10% of the cost of operation.
- Load dishes according to manufacturer’s instructions to allow for proper
- Check and clean drains and filters regularly to ensure efficient
- If you’re planning to buy a new dishwasher, consider investing in an
ENERGY STARŪ-qualified model, which is at least 25% more efficient than the
least efficient dishwasher.
- Run full loads whenever possible but don’t overload the machines.
- Wash your clothes in cold or warm water. A whopping 85-90% of the energy
used by washing machines is for heating the water! You can save a lot of
energy by lowering the water temperature.
- Try using cold or warm water for the WASH cycle, instead of hot water. Hot
water shrinks and fades your clothes, and wears them out more quickly.
- Make sure clothes are effectively wrung before putting them in the dryer.
(Front-loading washers are the best at squeezing the water out!)
- Separate loads into heavy, medium and lightweight items – lighter loads
will take less drying time than a mixture of items.
- Dry consecutive loads to utilize otherwise wasted heat from the dryer.
- Clean the lint filter after every load. (A clogged lint filter can
increase energy use up to 30%, and may be a fire hazard!)