Try to ignore it as you may, cooler weather is on the way. In many parts, that means higher energy costs in the home. But there are ways to reduce usage. Here are useful tips, courtesy of Toronto Hydro and Hydro One for staying warm, cozy and comfortable and for saving money on energy costs.
- A programmable thermostat that lowers the temperature when you’re at work or sleeping makes sense when you consider that for every degree the thermostat is lowered, you’ll save up to three per cent on heating costs. And when you do feel chilly? Put a sweater on before cranking it. Like, duh!
- During the day, keep curtains open to take advantage of solar heat.
- Up to 25 per cent of heat loss is through windows. Reduce air leakage by caulking and weather-stripping windows, doors, dryer vents, and installing insulated plates on electrical outlets.
- Using cold water for laundry can significantly reduce energy costs. Even rinsing in cold water can save enough energy for about 100 hot baths per year (based on three loads per week)
- Whatever the season, use major appliances during Off-Peak hours.
- If a $5 bill won’t stay in place in your fridge door, you may need to replace the seal.
- Try using an energy-saving slow-cooker or electric skillet instead of the oven as often as possible. The good news is both are perfect for winter-worthy comfort foods.
- If you have a fireplace that you never use, consider getting it sealed, as warm air is sucked out if the damper is open. If you do enjoy sitting by the fire, make sure you turn down your main thermostat.
- Clean the filter regularly to extend the furnace’s lifespan and reduce energy, and set the fan switch on “automatic” instead of “on” or “continuous”.
- Incorporate a skylight into your home design to take advantage of the stack effect in hot weather.
Toronto Hydro has more terrific ideas, as do local energy provider in many jurisdictions.