Energy saving tips

Controlling your electrical bill doesn’t have to cost anything. On the contrary, by following these easy, no-cost steps, you can save money and increase the comfort of your home:

* Repair leaky faucets. A leaky tap at one drop per second wastes 800 litres (175 gallons) of hot water per month.

* When washing dishes, fill the sink with about three inches of warm water to begin. Do a few dishes at a time and as you rinse them, run the water into the soapy dishes, thereby filling up the sink as you go. You’ll use less hot water.

* Most people, when they fill a kettle or a watering can, hold the object in their right hand and therefore use the left-HOT-faucet. Get into the habit of using cold water for this purpose.

* On sunny days, open the drapes and curtains to let the sun heat the home. At night, close them to keep the heat inside. This works best in the winter because the angle of the sun allows for the greatest amount of sun to come in.

* Cover all air conditioner units in the winter.

* Change filters in heat pumps and heating units before the heating season.

* Ensure that furniture is not placed in front of heating grills.

* When the air conditioner is on, set the thermostat at 26 [degrees] C (78 [degrees] F).

* Turn air conditioners off when you’re not at home.

* A clean air conditioning unit is more energy efficient. Regularly clean or replace dirty air filters.

* Use an electric kettle to boil water for a cup of tea. It uses only half the energy of a stove-top element, which in turn only uses half the energy of a microwave.

* Use a microwave, electric kettle, toaster oven or slow cooker as an energy efficient alternative to the electric range and oven.

* Set aside a cooking hour and cook as many foods as possible at one time in an oven.

* Use fluorescent lighting and task lighting, rather than making the entire kitchen generally bright.

* Use thermoses whenever possible: leave cold drinks out in thermos bottles rather than in the refrigerator on hot days; use a thermos to keep coffee warm rather than keeping it on the stove.

* A fireplace can be an energy and money waster, especially if you let warm inside air go up the chimney. Fireplaces waste more heat than they produce.

* If you have a water bed, make sure the bedspread is always on to keep heat in. An unmade bed uses more energy to maintain the mattress’s set temperature.

* After a bath or doing dishes, let the hot water sit for awhile to heat the room. (But only if you don’t have condensation or moisture problems, and keep children away from unsupervised tubs).

* Rinsing your clothes in cold water could save you enough hot water in a year to take 220 showers.

* A home computer and printer use about the same amount of power every month as a microwave oven. The newest home computers run on only two-thirds the amount of energy as those manufactured in the mid-’80s. Laptops require less power than desktop versions.

* If you live in a condominium, consider forming an energysaving committee to tour the building and look for ways to save energy and implement energy efficient ideas. Use condo and co-op newsletters to pass on energysavingtips.

USING APPLIANCES

FRIDGE

– An uncrowded fridge works more efficiently than a crowded one. The freezer section works more efficiently when it’s about two-thirds full.

– A clean fridge works better.

– Locate it away from heat sources such as sunlight or other appliances. Coils on a fridge are designed to dissipate heat and don’t work as well in warmer areas.

– Test the seal on your fridge door by closing it on a thin strip of paper, checking that it’s held tightly in place. Worn seals are cheap to replace, and doors can sometimes be adjusted.

– Defrost frozen food inside the fridge. It helps keep the fridge cool and saves energy you would use with a microwave.

– Don’t stare into the fridge holding the door open.

FREEZER

– The ideal freezer temperature – 18 [degrees] C (0 [degrees] F)

– Make sure no more than 1/4-inch of frost builds up. The thicker the coating, the harder the freezer has to work.

– Place away from heat sources.

– Don’t store in the garage or on an unheated porch, since variable outside temperatures can cause compressor damage.

DRYER

– Clean the lint filter after every load. A clogged filter can damage the dryer and create a fire risk.

– Never vent a dryer indoors. Fibre and chemicals in the dryer exhaust can be harmful. Use a vent cover to prevent cold air from entering.

DISHWASHER

– Water temperature should be about 60 [degrees] C (140 [degrees] F).

– Wait until the dishwasher is full before running.

– Use short cycles when you have easy-to-clean loads

– If the machine doesn’t have an energy-saver feature, turn it off at the end of the rinse cycle and open the door to let dishes air dry.

– If you have a portable dishwasher, you can recycle some of the hot water by saving part of the last deep rinse cycle in the sink and adding dishwashing liquid to wash large items or pots that don’t fit into the dishwasher.

CLOTHES WASHER

– Rinse laundry in cold water. Clothes come just as clean and you use and pay for much less hot water. It’s also easier on many fabrics.

– Pre-treat stains to avoid having to re-wash; wash lightly-soiled clothes in cold water.

– Use full loads only

– Use the spin cycle twice. This will reduce drying time, and the washer uses less energy than the dryer.

STOVE

– Only pre-heat oven for baking, and then, only for 10 minutes.

– Match the pot size to the burner size to prevent energy from being wasted on the leftover surface.

– Use a lid, to cook food three times faster.

– Use the self-cleaning feature right after cooking when the oven is already hot.

– Do not open the door to peek unnecessarily. Every time you do, the temperature drops about 25 [degrees] F.

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