Power Smart Heating & Cooling Tips
Be Power Smart around your home to make it more comfortable and to save energy. Here are some small changes that you can make to improve the temperature of your home:
- Caulk and seal gaps to prevent air leakage:
- 30 to 50 per cent of air leakage gets in underneath the baseboards and through the wall outlets.
- 20 per cent of air leakage gets in through holes where plumbing pipes and telephone wires enter the house and other gaps.
- Turn down the heat in rooms you don't use often.
- If your bedroom windows face north, keep your blinds shut when convenient during the cooler winter months.
- Plant a tree or shrub in front of your window on the sunny side of your home to provide shade in summer and act as a windbreak in chilly months.
- Install a setback thermostat and reduce your home temperature by 3 C for at least eight hours a day to save three to four per cent on heating costs. Program your thermostat to lower the heat while you're sleeping or out, and to raise it before you wake up or get home.
- If you have a fireplace, you could be losing heat when air flows through the chimney. Talk to your chimney sweep for ways to reduce air flow when the fireplace is not in use.
- If you use air conditioning, keep your windows closed and shades or curtains tightly drawn on the sunny side of your house. In winter, save energy by opening your shades in the morning on the eastern and southern sides of your house, and closing them late in the day.
- Plant shrubs and trees around your house to shade your windows in summer and help protect your house from chilly winds in winter.
- Change your furnace filter frequently during winter and it will burn cleaner and uses less energy. Keep floor and wall registers clean to encourage airflow.
- Install full blinds or drapes to make your home more comfortable in summer. Open them in winter to use solar energy as an additional heat source.