Maintaining an Energy Efficient Home

By maintaining an energy efficient home, you can reduce your energy bills while making a positive environmental impact.

By maintaining an energy efficient home, you can reduce your energy bills while making a positive environmental impact.  In a typical home, approximately 60% of energy costs are from heating and cooling, and 20% from hot water. Take a look at some tips for making your home more energy efficient.

Heating: 

  • Keep all exterior doors and windows tightly shut.  Try to avoid a lot of traffic going in and out of the home.
  • During the cold winter months, keep draperies and shades open during the day to let in the warmth of the sun.
  • Lower the heat, even by just 1 degree.  This can help save as much as 3% of the energy your furnace is using.
  • Keep the cold out and heat in by simple do-it-yourself techniques like caulking around outside door frames and other ideas from your local hardware store. 
  • Consider upgrading your insulation in basements and attics if this fits into your budget. 
  • Assure peak performance of your furnace by repairing, maintaining or replacing it. 
  • Clean or change your furnace filters on a regular basis as outlined in your furnace owner manual.

Cooling:

  • Keep the doors shut when the air conditioner is on to keep the cool air in.
  • Be comfortable but don't turn the thermostat too low.  There are savings in every degree.
  • Avoid constant use of heat producing appliances during hot summer days.  Use the barbeque instead of the oven.
  • For central air, close vents in rooms that are not frequently used.

Hot water: 

  • Switch to washing laundry in cold water, where appropriate
  • Adjust the water level to the correct load size.
  • Take quick showers.  Baths use considerably more water.
  • Run your dishwasher and do laundry during off peak hours.  Check your local hydro or electricity provider for more details.

Appliances and Electrical Equipment:

  • Let food cool down before placing it in the fridge or freezer.  This prevents extra energy from being used to cool down hot food.
  • Avoid placing freezers/fridges near heat sources.  They will need to work harder if this is done.
  • Don't overuse the oven by preheating well before you will be ready to insert food.
  • Wait until the dishwasher is loaded to its full capacity before starting a cycle.
  • Unplug electrical equipment that is not being used.  According to the government's Energy Star program, 40% of the electricity that home electronics use is consumed while the products are not in use.

Using these suggestions will make your home more energy efficient and save you money.

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