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Buyer Tips

Energy Conservation Tips

Heating + Cooling

Heating and cooling your home accounts for about 60% of your energy costs.

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 feel cold.
  • If you feel cool, put on a sweater rather than simply turning up the thermostat.
  • Clean or replace the air filter on your furnace every month to improve efficiency.
  • 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.

Refrigerator Tips

  • Set the temperature for only as cold as you need; check manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Don’t keep that old, inefficient refrigerator running in the basement for occasional refreshments. It could cost you $150 or more per year in electricity.
  • 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.

Dishwasher Tips

  • 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 water circulation.
  • Check and clean drains and filters regularly to ensure efficient operation.
  • 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.

Washer/Dryer Tips

  • 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!)



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