Canada’s changing seasons and ever-changing weather patterns mean that for most of us, household heating and cooling costs make up a significant portion of our expenses. But, there are simple things you can do this spring to conserve energy, help the environment and save money.
Here are my top five tips for energy efficiency:
Replace or wash furnace filters: This allows the furnace and air conditioner to run more efficiently. Clogged filters mean that furnace motors must work harder and use more energy. Filters should be washed or replaced at least every three months. By doing so you could save up to five percent on your energy bill.
Stay in shape: Consult the experts and book a maintenance appointment with a licensed technician who can check that your air conditioner is ready for the summer so that it performs more efficiently when higher temperatures put it to the test.
Control your temperature: More Canadians are conserving energy in the home by installing a programmable thermostat. Adjusting the temperature up or down during the night and while the family is away during the day could save as much as four per cent on energy bills. Better yet, have the Nest Learning Thermostat do this for you and you could save up to 20 per cent according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If you’re in Alberta, Direct Energy is offering Nest at no charge as part of an energy plan.
Seal it up: If you were to add up all the air leaks, cracks and small openings in the average older Canadian home, you would have a hole in your wall about the size of a basketball. With simple repairs like replacing exterior door sweeps, adding new or replacing old and worn weather stripping to doors and openable windows, homeowners can quickly decrease the air leakage in their home and increase the comfort level year round.
In with the new: Consider upgrading your old furnace or air conditioner to a new energy efficient unit. Not only could you be saving as much as 40 per cent on your energy costs, you will also be helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. High efficiency = high savings.