Energy Conservation Tips - Home
All suggestions listed are from the city staff!
- Cook meals in bulk; enough for two days and warm next day or freeze where possible.
- With the nice weather, do most of the cooking outside on the barbecue. Use the side burner to cook anything one would normally cook on the stove, and use the BBQ grills to cook food one would normally cook in the oven.
- Invest in a toaster oven if living alone so one doesn't have to heat up the oven in the stove for a single portion of something.
- Defrost food in fridge or sink instead of oven, stove or microwave.
- Let your dishes air dry; if you don't have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open slightly so the dishes will dry faster.
- After a hot bath, I don't pull the bathtub plug until the water has cooled off. The heat stays in the house, instead of warming the sewer system!
- Shorten the shower and bathing time.
- Install low-flow faucets and showerheads [PDF]. It can save about half the amount of water you typically use in the shower, while still providing a refreshing, cleansing shower.
- Turn the tap water off while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Do without air conditioning, install ceiling fans, and use only as necessary.
- Lower the temperature at home when no one is at home. Sometimes use candles for fun with the kids instead using the light.
- Maintain good ventilation at home if possible by opening all the windows. Also, provide light colour and reflected blinds behind the windows to stop the solar heat coming from outdoors.
- Renovate the house for better energy conservation by orienting large windows to the south, in order to take advantage of natural sunlight and radiant heat and reduced window openings to the north where the cold winds are, therefore cutting down on heat loss. This allows for natural light to set in for the majority of daytime.
- Close windows at the hottest times of the day.
- Use a good old fashioned broom to sweep the walks and driveway (instead of the electric/gas blowers that pollute through exhaust and noise).
- Replace all the garden lights with the solar type.
- Replace all the entrance lights with the motion detection type so that the lights will only come on when objects detected.
- Install rain barrels, so not only does one recycle the rainwater water for garden use, but the water runoff is prevented from draining into the basement which requires electric sump pump to pump into the storm sewer.
- Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units, but not to block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
- Open your windows to air out your house occasionally, otherwise moist, humid air is trapped within which takes more energy to heat than cool, fresh air.
- During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
- During the cooling season, keep the window coverings closed during the day to prevent solar gain.
- Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
- Install exterior or interior storm windows; storm windows can reduce heat loss through the windows by 25% to 50%.
- Low-growing evergreen shrubs planted beside basement walls help keep warmth in and winter winds out.
General Power Savings
- Use power bars for appliances so that they can be turned them off at night or when they are not in use.
- Replace all the light bulbs with the energy efficient light bulbs (CFL or LED). Unplug the chargers for cell phone, camera, computer etc. when not in use. Turn off the lights when not required.
- Do not put lights on in the house before 7 PM during the summer months and 5:30 PM during winter months.
- Lower the temperature of the water tank heater - not only does this conserve energy, but it prevents hot water burns.
- If possible, replace the old appliances with the new energy conservation type.
- Obtain domestic hot water from the solar system if affordable.
- Install heating pipes in the floors for radiant heat flooring; it cuts heat consumption cost by 30 to 40%.
- Wrap you hot water heater with insulation and the bottom 2/3 of your cold & hot water pipes with insulation.
- Hang heavy clothing to dry in the laundry room and then fluff dry for 10 minutes.
- Wash clothes using full loads - twice a week off peak hours.
- When the weather is good, use the outside clothes line. Use energy conserving bulbs in every socket possible.
- Have the laundry room on the second floor and have a bi-fold door. In a cold day or in the winter, leave the door open so the heat from the dryer will warm the house as well.
- Use compact dryer racks in the basement; it takes only overnight for most things to dry. The only thing that takes 2 days to dry is jeans and if you have enough pair of them you don't run out.
- Use a high efficiency front loading washing machine. It saves on water and electricity for reduced time for cleaning and drying. It uses about 40% less water and about 50% less energy.
- Do all laundry in cold water!
- Separate the clothes for washing into weight, e.g. Wash a full load of jeans, wash a full load of towels, etc.
- I have a wash before 7 AM. Do my washing after 7 PM.
- Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
- Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
How Much Electricity Do Appliances Use?
This chart shows how much energy a typical appliance uses per year and its corresponding cost based on national averages. For example, a refrigerator uses almost five times the electricity the average television uses. Visit www.energysavers.gov for instructions on calculating the electrical use of your appliances.