12.12.12: 12 Homesmart Tips

1. Installing energy-efficient lighting, heating, cooling and water-heating systems can dramatically reduce energy use and cost. By selecting high-efficiency appliances with ENERGY STAR® ratings, and quality exterior doors and windows, you will further reduce your home’s energy consumption.
2. EnerGuide is the official Government of Canada mark associated with the labelling and rating of the energy consumption and energy efficiency of household appliances air conditions, heating and ventilation equipment. The EnerGuide scale ranges from 0-100. A rating of 0 represents a home with major air leakage, a rating of 100 signifies a house that is airtight.
3. Have your space and water heating equipment serviced annually. If you have a forced-air heating system, clean or replace the furnace filter monthly, or as required.
4. Lower your water-heater thermostat setting from your home’s current temperature to 55°C to save money.
5. Install energy-efficient lighting in your home. Energy-efficient bulbs, such as ENERGY STAR® qualified compact fluorescents, last longer and reduce electricity consumption.
6. When purchasing appliances, home electronics and office equipment, look for those displaying the ENERGY STAR® mark, the international symbol for energy efficiency. An ENERGY STAR® labelled computer in ‘sleep’ mode consumes about 80 per cent less electricity than it does in full-power mode.
7. During the winter months, cover your air conditioner. If you can’t remove your window unit, consider covering it both inside and out. Besides protecting your air-conditioning unit, these covers also help keep cold air from entering your home through the space around the air-conditioner and can be a great way to lower utility bills.
8. Small spaces and gaps around windows, pipes and wires entering the home create energy wasting drafts that can decrease the efficiency of your heating system. Most caulking products cost under $10; rope caulk, one of the easiest types to apply, sells for about $4 for 40 or 50 feet.
9. Draft blockers are foam plates that fit behind light switches and electrical outlets to reduce drafts that enter through those spaces. You can get a packet of 10 for about $3 and they’re easy to install with a screwdriver.
10. Install heat reflectors. These are thin sheets that fit behind radiators, to reflect heat away from the wall and into the room, thereby maximizing each radiator’s energy efficiency.
11. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans to clockwise. This will create an updraft warming the room.
12. Upgrade to a programmable thermostat. Automatically changing the temperature when you are not at home will save money and reduce unnecessary energy.

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