Below are some strategies, courtesy of Ontario’s Ministry of Energy, to help you save energy during the cold winter months. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the winter.
If you haven’t already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings.
- Seal your windows! Weatherstripping around doors and windows can reduce energy needs by up to 25%.
- Use an energy-efficient portable humidifier during winter months to increase comfort.
- Let the sun shine in! Keep your curtains and shades open during the day so the sun can naturally warm up your home.
- Wood-burning fireplaces may look cozy, but they actually pull heat up the chimney and let cold in. Keep the flue shut tight when you’re not relaxing by the fire.
- LED lights can reduce your electricity use by as much as 75-80% compared to incandescent bulbs, and they last longer.
- Unplug your household electronics. Keeping them in standby mode waste about 10% of residential electricity load.
- Using the cold water setting on your washing machine can reduce energy use by as much as 90%. Energy Star washers save water and energy.
- Clean the burners on your gas stove to improve efficiency and use a medium flame to conserve gas.
- Using a 6” pot on an 8” burner can waste more than 40% of the burner’s heat. Use the right size pot with the right size burner.
- Slow cookers are a great way to cook. A typical meal costs an average of 17 cents of energy usage for a family.
- Need to reheat leftovers? Use the microwave! Microwaves use up to 75% less electricity than stoves.
- Schedule a maintenance call before the snow falls: Furnaces serviced by HVAC Pros once a year can save on costly repairs.
- Don’t peek at that pie baking! 20% of the heat escapes each time an oven has its door opened.
- Air-drying dishes in a dishwasher can cut total energy consumption by 15%.
- Using lids while cooking reduces energy consumption by up to 14%.
- Reverse the flow of your ceiling fan to push the hot air downward during winter months.
- Save energy by plugging your electronics into a power strip and turning it off when not in use.
- Inspecting your furnace filter every 3 months can increase its operating efficiency.
- Install a timer on your water heater. Turning it off at night and back on just before you wake up in the morning can help save money on your energy bill.
- Save money by installing dimmer switches to use less electricity.
- Install low flow showerheads to save hot water and save on energy costs.
- Use small appliances like crockpots and toaster ovens are great energy savers.
- Bake your holiday goods all at once to save on reheating the oven.
- For every degree lower you turn down your thermostat, you’ll save up to 3 %on heating costs.
- Set the thermostat between 18°C and 20°C before bed. When properly set, a thermostat can reduce heating costs by up to 10%.
The home maintenance experts at Handyman Connection can help with several of these energy (and money) saving tips. Give us a call today at 1-800-88-HANDY for a for a free, no-obligation project estimate.