Energy saving tips
You can make small changes around your home to save energy and water and reduce your energy bill:
Heating and cooling
- Find and seal air leaks. Install weatherstripping, caulking, and gaskets around doors, windows and electrical outlets to reduce air leakage and save energy.
- Use the sun’s energy. In winter, save energy by opening your shades in the morning on the sunny side of your house and closing them late in the day. In summer, close your windows and shades during the day to block the sun’s rays.
- Schedule regular maintenance for your heating and cooling equipment. They will last longer and run more efficiently. Don’t forget to change the furnace air filter every 3 months.
- Keep your ducts clean and your floor registers open to get the air flowing.
- Adjust your thermostat at night and when you’re not at home. In winter, lower the temperature by 3°C or more for at least 8 hours a day to save up to 4% on heating costs.
- Use a smart thermostat. It can be controlled remotely to set and adjust the climate of your home. It can also learn from your schedule and sense when you’re home and adjust the temperature accordingly.
- Turn down the heat or close the floor registers in rooms you aren’t in often.
- Install exhaust fan timers for proper ventilation and save energy without over-ventilating your home.
- If you have a wood fireplace, consult a chimney sweep on how you can reduce heat loss when the fireplace is not in use.
- When you go on vacation, turn your natural gas water heater to vacation mode.
- Install a drain water heat recovery system to reduce your water heater energy consumption by up to 25%.
- Open window shades to use natural light and brighten up your living space.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Use LED bulbs and fixtures in your home. They use up to 80% less electricity than incandescent lighting.
- Use dimmers, timers and motion sensors to control your lights and save energy.
- Unplug appliances and electronics that aren’t being used. Standby power accounts for up to 10% of household electricity use.
- Unplug battery chargers once the device is fully charged or when the charger is not in use. A battery charger, such as a cellphone charger, may draw electricity even when the device it’s charging is removed. Up to 50% of the electricity drawn by a charger is wasted as heat.
- Use smart power bars. Unlike regular power bars, smart power bars reduce or eliminate standby power. With a smart bar, you plug the primary device, such as a TV or computer, into the master socket. When the primary device is turned off, the smart power bar cuts power to all associated devices that are plugged into the other sockets, such as gaming consoles and printers. Turn off the primary device and all other devices get turned off automatically.
- If you don’t have a smart power bar, set your gaming console to standby mode when not in use. When left idle, the average gaming system can use up to 90 watts of power and cost you an extra $60 in electricity each year.
- Use an automatic car timer to save energy and money. Even on the coldest nights a block heater only needs to be turned on 3 hours before starting your car.
- Turn on your television’s power saving mode to reduce energy consumption by adjusting the screen’s brightness.
- If you have a computer at home:
- Turn off your computer after you use it. Most electricity waste happens when your computer is left on overnight, on weekends, or for long periods of inactivity during the day.
- Try not to use screen savers. Screen savers use the same amount of power as an active screen. Instead, use your computer’s power management feature to turn off the monitor after a certain period of inactivity.
- Use the smallest appliance possible to do the job. Microwaves or toaster ovens are some of the most energy efficient cooking appliances. A microwave takes 15 minutes to do the same job as 1 hour in an oven.
- Vacuum your refrigerator’s coils. Vacuum the back or behind the front grill of your refrigerator regularly to help extend the life of your refrigerator compressor.
- When washing clothes:
- Use cold water when possible. Try a laundry detergent that’s for cold-water washing.
- Fill your washing machine. A full load may use less water than 2 half-loads.
- Open the dishwasher door after the final rinse to let your dishes air-dry.
- If you’re considering a stand-alone freezer, chest (top-loading) freezers are 30% more efficient than upright (front-loading) freezers.
- When drying clothes:
- Shake out damp, crumpled laundry before you put it in the dryer to increase airflow and decrease drying time.
- Clean the lint filter. Cleaning the filter after each load improves air circulation and drying efficiency.
- When possible, air-dry clothes instead of using a dryer.
Choose ENERGY STAR®
When shopping for energy efficient products, look for the ENERGY STAR logo on product packaging. ENERGY STAR certified products meet strict technical specifications for energy performance. Typically, these products are in the top 15 to 30% of their class for energy performance.
Small changes around your home can make a big difference
Our how-to booklets will guide you through do-it-yourself home energy efficiency improvements.