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Energy and Water Saving Tips

Kilowatt Way

Heating

  • Ensure your home is well insulated. Be sure to check for gaps around doors and windows.
  • Consider reducing your heat by a few degrees at night. A programmable thermostat can help manage your heat efficiently. Also consider lowering your heat when you are away for an extended period of time.
  • Before turning up the heat, try putting on a sweater, blanket, or some warm socks.
  • Reduce your thermostat when you are not at home.
  • When not in use, close your fireplace damper to prevent drafts and heat loss.
  • Turn the pilot light off on your gas fireplace during the summer.
  • Clean or replace furnace filters every two months.
  • Keep electric baseboard heaters clear of obstructions.
  • Keep your electric baseboard heaters clean by vacuuming them.
  • Let the sunshine in! Open your blinds or drapes and allow the sun to heat up your house during the day.
  • Ensure your attic is well insulated.
  • Enter and exit your home quickly. Each time a door opens a large amount of heat escapes.

Cooling

  • Set your air conditioning to as high as comfortably possible.
  • If possible, supplement your air conditioning with ceiling fans.
  • Close your blinds and curtains during warm days, especially on the sunny side of your house.
  • Don’t leave ventilation fans running longer than necessary. They replace cool inside air with warm outside air.
  • Try to install your air conditioner in a shaded area. An air conditioner exposed to direct sunlight will use more energy.
  • Trees around your home can block sunlight and keep your home cool.
  • Keep windows and doors closed when your air conditioning is on.

Lighting

  • Change incandescent bulbs to energy efficient compact fluorescent lights or LED lights.
  • Turn off the lights when you exit the room.
  • Use solar-powered lights in outdoor areas such as your walkway or porch.
  • Keep light bulbs and fixtures clean. A layer of dirt reduces light output.
  • Rather than lighting the entire room, try using task lighting.
  • Paint walls light colours to brighten up your room and reflect more light.
  • Try switching to lower-wattage light bulbs where applicable.
  • Opening up your blinds is a free way to light up a room.
  • Be sure to buy LED holiday lights instead of incandescent bulbs.

Water

  • A five-minute shower uses approximately half as much water as a bath.
  • Install low flow toilets.
  • Ensure your taps are completely turned off. A dripping tap wastes a surprising amount of water. Repair any leaky faucets promptly.
  • Install energy efficient low flow shower heads.
  • Put a few drops of food colouring into your toilet’s water tank and leave the toilet alone for 20 minutes. If you come back and the water in the toilet bowl is coloured, you have a water leak and you should consider replacing or fixing your toilet.
  • Install aerators on your faucets.
  • Your toilet is not a garbage can; avoid flushing paper towel, tissues, and other items down the toilet and save water.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  • Do not hose down your driveway or walkway. Use a broom to clear debris and save many litres of water.
  • Put a rain barrel under your downspouts. You can use the collected water for your garden.
  • Ensure your sprinkler is not watering the driveway, sidewalk, or street.
  • Try watering your lawn early in the morning or late at night. Less water will evaporate from heat.
  • When using a hose, control the flow with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
  • Try washing your pet or rinsing off your car mats on an area of your lawn that needs water.

Small Appliances

  • Utilize small appliances such as the microwave, slow-cooker or toaster oven instead of the range or oven.
  • Use an electric kettle to boil water instead of your stove.
  • Use cold water when using a garbage disposal. This saves hot water and solidifies the grease, which is then ground up and pushed down the drain.
  • In the summertime, use your barbeque instead of your oven when possible. Your oven will heat up your house and make your air conditioner work harder.
  • Look for ENERGY STAR appliances.

Fridges and Freezers

  • Go into your fridge or freezer knowing what you need and close the door without delay.
  • Defrost your freezer when the ice thickness reaches approximately half a centimeter. Excess ice makes the compressor run more.
  • Avoid putting hot foods in the fridge. Allow the food to cool down on the counter first. This ensures your fridge doesn’t have to work extra hard to cool it down.
  • Avoid putting your refrigerator or freezer close to heat vents, sunlight or your oven.
  • Check your refrigerator’s door seal by closing the door on a $5 bill. If it’s held tightly in place, the seal is effective.
  • Clean your refrigerator’s air intake grill and coils every few months.
  • Thaw your food in the fridge. It’s generally safer than leaving food out on the counter top and contributes to the fridge’s cooling.
  • Set your fridge’s temperature for only as cool as you need (about 4 °C).

Dishes

  • During the week, run your dishwasher early in the morning or in the evening when electricity is the least expensive.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it is full.
  • Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher.
  • Use energy saving cycles when possible.
  • For most dishwashers, rinsing the dishes prior to putting them into the dishwasher is not necessary. Dishwashers nowadays do a super job of cleaning. If you do need to rinse your dishes, use cold water.

Stove and Oven

  • Use the right size pot or pan for the burner and cover pots with tight fitting lids when in use.
  • Minimize pre-heating and try to keep the oven door shut during use. About twenty percent of the heat from the oven is lost each time you open the oven door. If you want to peek, use the window on the front of the oven.
  • Turn off the oven just before the finish time; the oven will remain hot enough to complete the job.
  • If you’re going to use the oven, utilize all the racks and bake a few meals at a time to get the most out of having your oven on.
  • In the winter, leave the oven door open after cooking to let the heat warm your kitchen.
  • With the exception of baking, preheating the oven is often not necessary.
  • Avoid lining your oven racks with foil; for convection ovens this inhibits air flow and therefore decreases efficiency.

Laundry

  • Consider using a clothesline to dry your laundry instead of using a dryer.
  • Wash clothes in cold or warm water instead of hot water.
  • Make sure clothes are effectively wrung before putting them in the dryer.
  • For your dryer, separate loads into heavy, medium and lightweight items; lighter items will take less drying time than a mixture of items.
  • Dry loads consecutively to utilize your already warm dryer.
  • Wait until you have a full load of laundry for the washer and dryer.
  • Clear the lint trap in the dryer after each load, and keep your dryer’s outside exhaust clean.

Technology

  • Don’t leave your mobile phone plugged in overnight, it only takes a couple of hours to charge.
  • Avoid leaving your computer on all day. Only turn on your computer, monitor, printer, and/or fax machine when you need them.
  • Turn off the TV if no one is in the room watching it.
  • Unplug all items that you aren’t using regularly; for example, your phone charger continues to draw electricity when plugged in even when it isn’t charging a phone.
  • Plug your home entertainment system into a power bar and shut off the power bar when it is not in use. This way you will know your television, DVD player, stereo, etc. are actually shut off when not in use. Electronics on standby can still use several watts of power.
  • Look for ENERGY STAR electronics.