We're all becoming more aware of how we use electricity in our homes.
Things to Consider:
- In a typical home, about 60% of energy costs are tied up in heating and cooling and 20% in hot water. So, those are the first places to look when it comes to saving energy.
- Consider how you can save on air conditioning, heating and hot water costs. Look specifically what you can do in spring, summer, fall and winter.
- Many of these energy savers take just a change of habit. Others will require a little bit of work and a few purchases.
- Start with the basics and you'll begin to see some savings.
- During the winter months, as much as 3% of the energy your furnace uses can be saved by lowering your thermostat by 1 degree. *
- Install a programmable thermostat. It will turn the heat up before you wake, turn the heat down when you leave home and back up when you return - automatically.
- Recommended thermostat settings for a comfortable environment are 21 °C (70 °F) when you're home relaxing, 18 °C (65 °F) when you're sleeping, and 15 °C (59 °F) when you're away from your home for an extended period of time.**
- Ensure that the hole in the wall behind the thermostat is insulated to prevent any drafts.
- Install your thermostat out of direct sunlight and away from cold air or drafts.
- Every few months, remove the thermostat cover and dust it gently with a soft brush.
- When not in use, close your fireplace damper and cover the opening to prevent drafts and heat loss.
- Grates made of C-shaped metal tubes help draw cool air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
- If your gas fireplace has a pilot light, turn it off during the summer. It can cost about $3-$5 per month to keep lit.
- When your fireplace is operating, turn down your main thermostat.
- If your gas fireplace has a thermostat, keep it at the lowest setting you can.
- Be sure to install glass doors and an insert in your wood-burning fireplace – otherwise, it can draw heat out of your home.
Insulating and Draft-Proofing:
- Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
- Weather-strip your windows and doorways.
- Keep all your exterior doors tightly shut and try to avoid frequent in-and-out traffic. Stylish, padded door runners help reduce drafts under doorways (in a pinch, towels also work).
- Use a dehumidistat to maintain the right humidity level for health and comfort. It senses the humidity level and runs the ventilating fan whenever it's needed.
- Use insulating shutters or drapes and keep them closed during winter nights and summer days.
- Caulk cracks around your windows and doors.
Electrical Heating and Space Heaters:
- Place electrical heaters far away from water sources.
- Be certain that your heater is placed on a level, hard and non-flammable surface, not on rugs or carpets.
- Never dry clothes by draping them over the heater.
- If you must use an extension cord, for safety reasons, use a heavy-duty cord, so it doesn't overheat.
- Always try to plug into a ground fault circuit interrupter, which prevents electric shock by shutting the heater off if electrical leakage develops.
- Check the temperature of the grille face to ensure it doesn't become too hot to touch.