Make small changes that add up
Save energy and money by making modest investments and minor changes around your home. Improvements can be found outside and inside your home. View the following room-by-room illustrations for suggested energy efficiency improvements.
- Weatherstrip doors to keep cool air inside
- Use awnings or strategically positioned trees to help keep direct sunlight from overheating your home in the summer
- Seal joints of window casings with flexible caulking if you suspect air is leaking
- Buy ENERGY STAR® certified outdoor light fixtures or bulbs
- Upgrade insulation and air seal your home as these are some of the most cost-effective home improvements.
- Look into an air source heat pump (ASHP): it is energy-efficient and can supply both heating and cooling for your home. Keep your ASHP or A/C clear of bushes or debris that could restrict air flow
- Say yes to installing a solar energy system: a safe, reliable, low-maintenance source of electricity that helps reduce your electrical costs and produces no on-site pollution or emissions
- Keep your heat or energy recovery ventilator running smoothly by inspecting and cleaning outside hoods and screens
Important: Consult your owner’s manual for maintenance and details of all heating, cooling and ventilation equipment
- Install a motion sensor to use less energy
- Walk or bike to work to save costs
- Drive fuel efficiently to save fuel, money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Get tips from: vehicles.nrcan.gc.ca
- Look for ENERGY STAR fixtures or bulbs to save money
- Buy the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your needs
- Choose ENERGY STAR exterior doors for their better insulation, which helps keep cooled air indoors
- Install an ENERGY STAR certified “smart” thermostat to take control of your cooling
- Apply weatherstripping around older exterior doors to waste less cooled air
- Turn off lights when not in use
- Look for ENERGY STAR certified models when buying a new TV to use 27% less energy
- Find the ENERGY STAR symbol when you buy a cordless phone (40% savings compared to other models)
- Find the ENERGY STAR symbol when you buy audio/video products (up to 70% savings compared to other models)
- Buy ENERGY STAR certified recessed lighting fixtures (pot lights): use up to 90% less energy than traditional models with incandescent bulbs
- Use a “smart” power strip to cut power to devices not in use
- Choose ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs: they last 15 times longer than incandescent ones
- Use the microwave to reheat food: it’s the most efficient
- Buy an ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher: use 12% less energy
- Scrape dishes, don’t rinse: let the dishwasher do the rest
- Use the “air dry” feature
- Assess each load: use the setting with best cleaning in least amount of time
- Install an ENERGY STAR certified range hood to use 50% less energy than a standard one
- Shop for an ENERGY STAR certified fridge: use 10% less energy
- Allow air to flow: don’t overfill your fridge
- Keep fridge away from heat sources: e.g. vent, oven, sun
- Choose ENERGY STAR certified light fixtures, search and compare: www.energystar.gc.ca
- Use awnings, blinds or drapes to keep direct rays of sunshine from overheating the room in the summer
- Read Keeping the Heat In to learn more about options for upgrading your windows: www.nrcan.gc.ca/kthi
- Set the mood: use compatible dimmer switches with your ENERGY STAR certified bulbs to reduce light use. Check if your baseboards have individual thermostats then set each thermostat at the desired temperature. Set higher temperatures to save.
- Enable low power settings to save energy and help your battery last longer
- Use a “smart” power strip to reduce energy waste when equipment is on stand by or off
- Buy ENERGY STAR certified light fixtures to use up to 90% less energy than traditional models using incandescent bulbs
- Seal areas of air leakage around all window and door casings, mouldings, and baseboards to stop wasting cooled air. Learn how: www.nrcan.gc.ca/kthi
- Purchase ENERGY STAR certified office equipment to use up to 30% less energy
- Install windows with triple glazing on the east and north facing sides of your house to minimize heating or cooling waste
- Use ENERGY STAR certified products to stream a movie and get 25% more energy savings
- Purchase ENERGY STAR certified ceiling fans to use 60% less energy. Set your ceiling fan to counter clockwise in summer for maximum comfort
- Choose ENERGY STAR certified windows to use up to 8% less energy
- Empty or “bleed” the air from radiators once or twice a year so they can fill fully with water and work more efficiently
- Install a water-saving shower head to use less hot water. Look for one that has a flow rate of less than 7.6 litres per minute. Take a shower instead of bath to save on hot water costs
- Use a low-flow toilet that uses 4.8 litres per flush to save water
- Switch to ENERGY STAR certified ventilation fans to use 50% less energy than standard models
- Buy a faucet aerator to use less hot water; choose aerators that deliver 3.0 to 5.7 litres per minute of water
- Install a timer switch for your fan
- Install foam insulation gaskets behind electrical outlet faceplates. Learn how: www.nrcan.gc.ca/kthi
- Switch to ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs and save 70-90% more energy than incandescent ones
- Keep air flowing by not obstructing vents or return air grilles with furniture
- Use ENERGY STAR certified computer monitors to save 25% more energy than standard models
- Seal cracks and penetrations on the walls, ceilings or floors to prevent air from escaping into the walls and roof
- Buy an ENERGY STAR certified washer: save 28% more energy, use 33% less water than a standard model
- Choose high-speed or “extended spin”: more water out reduces drying time
- Fill but don’t overfill: washers operate most efficiently when full
- Wash in warm or cold water: save energy to heat water
- Pre-soak stained clothes: avoid re-washing
- Shop for an ENERGY STAR certified dryer: save 20% more energy compared to other models
- Clean the lint trap after every load: increase air flow
- Avoid over-drying: use the sensor setting or time it just right
- Don’t overfill: ensure airflow and reduce strain on motor
- Sort by thickness: light items in one load, thick items in another
- Pick ENERGY STAR certified light fixtures: use up to 90% less energy than other models using incandescent bulbs
- Install a motion sensor to reduce your light use
- Try air drying clothes including delicates and silks
- Hot Water Tank. Ways to reduce water heating costs and water usage:
- Insulate hot and cold water pipes by covering the first two metres with foam sleeves or insulating wrap with a min. of RSI 0.7 (R-4) insulation. Leave a 15 cm (6-inch) clearance between insulation and vent pipes on fuel-fired water heaters.
- Buy an ENERGY STAR certified gas-fired tankless water heater: uses 30% less energy since it heats water only when it is needed.
- Install a drain-water heat recovery unit and recover enough heat to save 15-20% of the energy required for hot water.
- Insulate hot water pipes to save on heating costs.
- Buy a boiler that has earned the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation to save even more energy.
- Clean and service regularly: Oil-fired boilers need annual maintenance, natural gas and propane boilers should be serviced at least every two years.
- Heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or energy recovery ventilator (ERV)
- Clean the filters of your heat or energy recovery ventilation system (HRV or ERV) every 3 months to ensure air is being filtered and clean the core annually.
- Choose an ENERGY STAR certified furnace with an efficiency rating of at least 95% for gas, 85% for oil.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation to save even more when buying a new gas furnace.
- Change or clean filters every 3 months or as they become dirty.
- Clean and service regularly: Oil-fired furnaces need annual maintenance, natural gas and propane furnaces should be serviced at least every two years.
- Seal all supply ductwork with aluminum foil duct tape, approved flexible plastic tape or water-based mastic to improve comfort.
- Make sure heating, cooling, and ventilation ducts running through basements, crawl spaces, or unheated attics are sealed and insulated.
- Ensure your heat, cooling, and ventilation distribution system is balanced: undersized ductwork, leaking ducts, inadequate or poorly placed return air grilles can mean discomfort and higher heating bills. Find a professional to inspect your system should you suspect a heating or cooling problem.
*Important: Consult your owner’s manual for maintenance of all heating, cooling and ventilation equipment.
Would you like to do more? Sign-up for a home energy evaluation to receive an EnerGuide rating with recommendations on what you can do to improve your home’s energy efficiency, learn more: www.nrcan.gc.ca/myenerguide
Read more about Renovating for energy efficiency
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