Save Energy At Home
There are many opportunities to save energy and reduce emissions at home. On average, approximately 30% of our individual emissions come from heating our homes, 10% from water heating and the remaining 10% from appliances and lighting. There are a number of things we can do at home to reduce our energy use and emissions. Some simple steps you can take include:
Use more efficient light bulbs
Compact fluorescent light bulbs last up to ten times longer and use 75% less electricity than an equivalent incandescent light bulb. Replace 5 of the most used standard light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent light bulbs and you will reduce your GHGs and save about $30 each year.
Get an energy audit done
Keep your blinds, curtains and windows closed during the day in the summer
This helps keeps your home cooler. ~ In the winter, keep blinds and curtains open during the day to allow passive solar energy into your home (it can save you up to 5% on home heating).
Keep your furnace well maintained
Keep your furnace well maintained and change or clean furnace filters every couple of months. Dirty air filters block airflow and can damage the heat exchanger. Regular tune-ups and cleaning of filters will ensure that your furnace is running efficiently.
Turn it off
Turn off lights, games and computers when they're not in use.
Use caulking and weather-stripping to seal air leaks
Reduce your home heating needs by up to 20% by getting rid of drafts and leaks around windows, doors, baseboards and attic hatches. At the same time, seal electrical outlets and switches on outside walls with foam gaskets; on inside walls, use childproof plugs or combination cover plates.
Install a programmable thermostat
Using a programmable thermostat or turning down your thermostat at night and while you're away during the day will reduce emissions. For every 1°C you lower your thermostat, you can save 2% on your heating bill.
Set your air conditioner at 24°C (75°F)
Set your air conditioner at 24°C (75°F) and raise it when you go out, or set your programmable thermostat to do this. For each degree set below 24°C (75°F) you use 3% to 5% more energy.
Use fans as your first line of defense against summer heat. For example, a 60 watt ceiling fan costs between 8¢ and $1.50 to operate monthly, while an air conditioner can cost between $6.75 and $40.50 a month.
Install a low-flow showerhead
A low flow showerhead uses 60% less water than standard fixtures.
Lower your hot water temperature
Set the thermostat on your hot water tank between 43°C (110°F) and 49°C (120°F).
Use a clothesline
Something as simple as using a clothesline can help save energy. You can use a clothesline outdoors during the summer, and set up a clothesline or drying rack indoors during the winter.
Use your dishwasher efficiently
If you've got a dishwasher, use its no-heat or air-drying cycle.
Visit Environment Canada's Take Action For the Environment web site. You'll find more information and tips to help you take action for a cleaner and healthier environment.
Special thanks to Bob and Dog Mackenzie and the Northern Climate ExChange in Whitehorse, Yukon for use of their likeness, graphics and tips. During the past few years, Northern Climage ExChange mascots, Bob and Dog, have been educating Yukoners about climate change and energy efficiency. The illustrations are by Tanya Handley. More information on the Northern Climate Exchange is available at www.taiga.net/nce.