Monitor your energy use
Energy monitors are available at your local library and are provided by Westario Power Inc. at no cost.
Phantom Power is the energy drawn from appliances with standby features. These appliances such as your coffee maker, DVD or television for example, are drawing power even when you think you’ve turned your appliance off. This slow draw of power can account for up to 15% of your home’s annual energy usage. Purchasing a “smart” power bar or with a timer will ensure that phantom power is not consumed during those periods of the day or night when they aren’t in use, or simply unplug appliances that aren’t being used.
Installing an energy efficient ceiling fan in high traffic areas of your home will ensure that warm or cool air is circulated properly throughout your home and will assist in making your home’s heating or cooling system operate more efficiently. Turn your ceiling fan in reverse mode to push cool air down in the summer and in standard mode to push warmer air into your high traffic areas during the winter season. Ceiling fans use a minimal draw of power to operate and they should be installed in rooms with high ceilings where warm air tends to get trapped.
These energy efficient devices enable you to control your home’s temperature settings 24/7. Most thermostats will allow you to enter numerous settings for different times of the day, a handy tool for ensuring that your heating or cooling system is not operating at full-capacity if no one’s home to enjoy it.
Energy Star Rating®
Replace your old appliance with an Energy Star® model. This rating ensures that your appliance operates with the highest standards of energy efficiency.
Insulating Your Home
Insulating your attic, floors, ceilings, and walls will ensure that you’re not heating or cooling the outdoors. Contact a local home improvement specialist to see how you can improve your home’s efficiency with today’s insulation standards.
A clean filter is just as important in the summer as it is in winter. Changing your furnace filters monthly can save up to 5% on your electricity bills as dirty air filters reduce airflow and cause your furnace to work harder than it needs to.
If you replace your furnace or air conditioning unit you can save up to $325 a year in energy costs and you may be entitled to up to $650 in incentives by participating in the saveONenergy Heating & Cooling Incentive.
Check your toilet for leaks simply by placing two or three drops of food dye into your toilet’s tank. Wait for 10 minutes. If you see food colouring leaking into the toilet bowl, you have a leak. A leaking toilet can waste up to 200,000 litres of water in a single year. That’s enough water to fill five swimming pools!
Showerheads and faucets – today’s low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators can reduce water usage by up to 60% without decreasing water pressure.
Set your refrigerator for optimum performance. The ideal temperature range for energy efficiency and food safety is 1 to 4 °C or 30 to 40° F. Additionally, clean your refrigerator and freezer coils by gently dusting or vacuuming the coils on the back of your fridge. Also clean the kick plate on the front portion of your fridge (at the bottom). Check the seal on your fridge by enclosing a piece of paper in the door seal. If it’s held in place, the seal is working. If the paper falls or is loose, energy is being wasted!
Secondary Refrigerators or Freezers
Did you know that you can save up to $125 a year in energy costs by getting rid of your old fridge or freezer?
Washers and Dryers
Wash your laundry in cold water. Today’s detergents are specifically designed for cold water washes and remember to wash with full loads.
Dry full loads in your dryer, but don’t overload your dryer because it makes the dryer work longer and wastes energy, remember to clean the lint trap regularly. Better yet, use a clothesline during the summer months to reduce your electricity costs.
Wait until your dishwasher is full before you wash. Newer dishwashers will allow dishes to air dry and this feature uses up a lot less energy. If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, try to choose one that has an Energy Star rating and with a delayed start feature so you can wash dishes during less expensive, Off-Peak hours. Additionally, you should clean the drain and filters regularly to ensure that it’s operating with maximum efficiency.
Always ensure that your computer is either turned off or in sleep mode when it’s not in use. Sleep mode will ensure that energy use is cut in half. Be sure to shut off the monitor whenever your computer isn’t in use as it uses 60% of the power used by a computer. Remember, the bigger the monitor, the more energy it consumes.
Light your home with Energy Efficient Lighting. One LED light can save you three times its purchase cost in electricity. LEDs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent lights and use 75% less electricity.