Reduce home energy usage; help the environment and your budget
The worldʼs climate is changing quickly, with most climate scientists predicting a major increase in global temperatures over the next 20 to 50 years. Although governments are doing things to meet the climate change challenge, every one of us can help by doing our bit to prevent major impacts on the environment, the economy and human health.
The earthʼs temperature has been increasing at record rates since the dawn of the Industrial Age. Our use of fossil fuels — oil, natural gas and coal — has emerged as a major cause. We all know that each of us can be a part of the solution by driving our cars more efficiently and by using them less often, but did you know that you can help by reducing home energy use? Natural Resources Canadaʼs Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) offers the following easy energysaving tips:
✔ Set your thermostat back at night — for every degree you turn your heat down, youʼll save 2% in energy costs. ✔ Install low-flow shower heads to reduce your shower ʼs water use by 60 percent. ✔ Clean or replace your furnace filter once a month during the heating season.
✔ Caulk and seal the drafts around switches and outlets on exterior walls and baseboards on the main floors. Also, seal the openings where plumbing or other services penetrate your basement walls. ✔ Weatherstrip your doors, windows and attic hatch. ✔ Insulate your hot water tank and pipes.
✔ Think about replacing your refrigerator — todayʼs models use at least 60 percent less energy than refrigerators manufactured 20 years ago. ✔ Remove window air conditioners during winter.
An even better way to save energy is to take advantage of the unbiased, expert advice available through the OEEʼs EnerGuide for Houses Program (EGH).
This service connects you with an EGH energy adviser, who will make a detailed analysis of your house, conduct a "blower door test" to find air leaks around windows and walls, and model different upgrades in order to suggest the most cost-effective energy-saving options for your home.