Ten Ways You Can Save Energy and Money This Winter
Conservation helps manage energy use and cut costs. Here are ten ways you can save energy and money this winter, courtesy of the Ontario Ministry of Energy:
1. Install a programmable thermostat: When properly set, a thermostat can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 10 per cent. Set your thermostat to 20 degrees Celsius when you're at home and 18 degrees Celsius when sleeping or away.
2. Protect against drafts: Install weatherstrip around doors, fireplace dampers, attic hatches and air conditioners. Reducing drafts can save up to 30 per cent a year on heating costs.
3. Flip your furnace filter: Change your furnace filter monthly. It's also a good idea to have your furnace serviced by a professional every year to ensure it is running at maximum efficiency.
4. Go off-peak: Take advantage of lower energy prices during off-peak hours. Run your dishwasher, washer and dryer early in the morning, in the evening or on weekends when electricity rates are lowest.
5. Unplug it: Be sure to unplug electronic items not in use. Devices like computers, TVs, and cell phone chargers continue to consume small amounts of electricity unless they are unplugged. Try plugging these items into a power bar with a switch or timer, so you can easily turn them off when they are not needed.
6. Lock in the heat: Block heat from entering unused areas of your house, like a storage room or crawlspace, by closing doors. Keep closet doors shut too.
7. Opt for efficient lighting: When it's time to replace a light bulb, choose energy-efficiency compact florescent lights (CFLs, LEDs), rather than incandescent lights.
8. Let the sun shine in: During the day, keep your curtains open to draw in sunlight. Solar energy can help naturally warm your home.
9. Clean your fridge coils: Be sure to regularly brush or vacuum your refrigerator coils to make them more energy-efficient.
10. Ditch the drip: Make an effort to quickly repair leaky faucets. Even a small drip can waste litres of water per month and add to your water heating costs.