With winter just around the corner, many of us are bracing ourselves for the arrival of higher electricity bills. Sadly, it’s inevitable; our country’s famously frigid climate forces us to increase our energy consumption during the cold months. There is, however, a way to reduce your monthly electricity consumption, and bill; by making small changes to your daily habits. Here are a few tips:
• Replace your regular thermostats by electronic ones. They work to keep room temperatures constant and are programmable so you won’t need to remember to turn down the heat at night.
• Set your thermostats to 19ºC in the daytime and 17ºC at night. These are the average comfortable indoor temperatures during the winter months.
• On cold days, put on a warm sweater and add an extra cover onto your bed. You will feel warm and toasty, without having to turn up the heat.
• At night, close all your shades, blinds and drapes to keep the heat inside the house. Keep them open during the day to let in light… and heat from the sun.
• If you have a fireplace, remember to close the damper once the fire goes out.
• Weather-strip all doors and windows to keep the heat inside and the cold outside.
• Dust your light bulbs regularly to keep their light shining brightly.
• Avoid unnecessary lighting in your home; turn the lights off in all unused rooms.
• When painting your home, opt for lighter wall colours that will reflect light.
• Replace your regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs; they use up to 75% less energy and last almost 10 times longer.
• In the shower, cut the water while you’re soaping up, shaving, or shampooing your hair.
• Install a low flow showerhead to reduce the amount of hot water used.
• Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket to eliminate 97% of heat loss.
• Make sure to tightly close all faucets and fix the running ones. You’ll save water and energy if it’s the hot water tap that was leaking.
• Wash your clothes in cold water whenever possible.
IN THE KITCHEN
• Don’t leave the refrigerator door open for long periods of time.
• Avoid placing the fridge right next to the stove.
• When using the stove, make sure to use both a pot and burner that are size-appropriate for what you are making (not too big). A small soup = a small saucepan + a small burner.
• When cooking, try to cover pots as often as possible.
• Choose pots and pans that have an evenly flat bottom, ensuring efficient heat distribution.