Conserving Energy,  Electricity Efficiency Tips,  How To Guides

Energy Savings on Heating & Cooling In Your Home

Air Conditioning

  • Allow your utility to turn down your central air conditioner for short periods during hot summer weekdays when the demand for electricity is high.
  • In the summer, set the central air conditioner to 25°C when you are home, and 28°C when away or if you can, turn it off.
  • In the winter, set the thermostat at 20°C when you are home, and 18°C overnight or when away.
  • Ceilings fans help keep rooms cool so you can turn the central air conditioner down or off.
  • When shopping for a new central or window air conditioning, consider the newer ENERGY STAR qualified models, which are up to 70% more efficient than older models.
  • Ensure the area around your central air conditioner unit and laundry vent is free of debris and shrubbery to maximize operating efficiency.
  • Shade central air conditioning outdoor units with trees or shrubs to use up to 10% less electricity. Make sure you don’t block air flow around the unit.
  • Clean or replace your window air conditioning filter monthly. Dirty filters may restrict air flow and reduce your system’s efficiency.
  • During the day, draw your blinds to block the warming effect of direct sunlight.
  • Ceiling fan blades should rotate to move the air downward in the summer to help produce a cooling breeze. In the winter, air should be moved upwards towards the ceiling to disperse the warm air that tends to accumulate there and distribute more evenly in the room.
  • Choose a north-facing or shaded window for your window air conditioner to save electricity.
  • Close your heating duct dampers so that more cooled air will circulate up through the house.
  • Close your fireplace damper tightly to keep cooled air from leaking out.
  • Service your central air system annually.
  • Set the fan switch on “automatic” instead of “on” or “continuous” to save electricity.

Attics

  • Install a minimum of 25cm (10″) insulation.
  • Seal areas around plumbing stacks, ceiling fans and light fixtures where they join the floor or ceiling.

Dehumidifiers

  • Consider switching to an ENERGY STAR qualified model.
  • Newer ENERGY STAR qualified dehumidifiers use 10% to 20% less energy than conventional models but offer the same features – effective moisture removal, quiet operation and durability. The energy saved by an ENERGY STAR qualified dehumidifier could power your refrigerator for 6 months.
  • On a hot, muggy day, humidifiers can collect as much as 50 litres of water a day!

Fireplaces

  • When not in use, close the damper.
  • Seal fireplaces that are not used (a makeshift foam plug can be inserted and then removed if you decide to use it again).
  • Hanging a flag from the plug will serve as a safety reminder. Remember even a closed damper leaks a large amount of heated air to the outdoors.
  • Avoid having your furnace thermostat in a room with a fireplace.
  • Consider installing tempered glass fireplace doors and a heat-air exchange system so warmed air could be blown back into the room.

Furnaces / Heating

  • Clean or replace the furnace filter once a month to keep it operating efficiently. A clogged filter impairs furnace performance.
  • Have a licensed HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) professional service your furnace yearly to ensure it is operating at maximum efficiency.
  • Insulate heating ducts that travel through unheated areas of your home to ensure against heat loss.
    When buying a new furnace, look for the most energy-efficient model you can find.
  • Set the fan switch on “automatic” instead of “on” or “continuous”.
  • Use weather-stripping and door sweeps to seal doors and reduce drafts. Comprehensive draft proofing can reduce your heating bill by 20 %. Apply caulking and weather-stripping around drafty doors and windows to keep the cold out.
  • No drafts mean a more comfortable home.
    Close off air registers in any unused areas or rooms.
  • Keep warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators clean and make sure they’re not blocked.
  • If you have hot-water radiators, bleed trapped air from them once or twice a season.

Insulation

  • Install a minimum of 25cm (10″) insulation.
  • Seal areas around plumbing stacks, ceiling fans and light fixtures where they join the floor or ceiling.

 

Outlet & Light Switch Insulation

  • Foam gaskets will insulate electrical outlets and lights switches on your home’s exterior facing walls.
  • For standard electrical outlets choose an outlet gasket.
    For standard light switch faceplates choose a flip switch gasket.
  • Each gasket can be easily trimmed to size.

Programmable Thermostats

  • A properly set programmable thermostat can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 10%.
  • In the summer set the central air conditioner for 25°C when you are home, and 28°C when away.
  • In the winter set the thermostat at 20°C when you are home, and 18°C overnight or when away.
  • Install the thermostat on a wall where there are no vents or drafts.

Vents

  • Open soffit, roof and gable vents to let in air and control moisture, thereby preventing damage to insulation and wood (daylight should be seen through vents).
  • Ensure attic insulation doesn’t block this air movement.

Weatherstripping / Caulking

  • Air leaks account for the largest amount of heat loss from your home and can add as much as 40% to your bill. Proper weather-stripping, caulking and insulation can save 5 to 15% of that heat loss and reduce your expenses. Do it yourself and save even more.
  • Seal leaks around light fixtures, plumbing stacks, windows, exterior doors, attic hatches, pipe and wire entrances, wood-burning fireplaces, electrical outlets and ceiling fans.