Complete a Home Energy Audit

An energy audit will evaluate the energy efficiency of your home and outline improvements to the heating, cooling, hot water heating and other uses of energy in the house that could result in energy savings. 
 
Download a do-it-yourself energy audit checklist.

Attic
Bedroom
Bathroom
Outside
Kitchen
Laundry Room
Home Office
Living Room
Basement
  • Roof Vents

    Roof Vent

    Saving money can be as easy as opening a vent! Proper moisture control in your attic can help prevent damage to wood structures and insulation that cause heat loss. Here's what you can do:

    • Open soffit vents. This will allow air to easily enter the attic (you should be able to see light coming up through the soffit vents if looking during daylight hours)
    • Open roof or gable vents. Make sure light is coming through them.

    Section Two of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on venting and moisture control.

    Insulation

    Attic InsulationThere could be substanitial energy savings potential in your attic insulation. Checking the condition and depth of your current insulation is your first step. Your attic should contain at least 25cm (10”) of insulation evenly distributed throughout the floor area. Add insulation as needed.

    Pay special attention to air sealing the areas where light fixtures, ceiling fans or plumbing stacks enter the attic. These can be sealed either at the attic floor or where they join the ceiling.

    For more information on Air Sealing and Insulation in your home, click here.

    Section Six of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on air sealing and insulation.

  • WindowsWindows

    Saving money can be as easy as opening a vent! Proper moisture control in your attic can help prevent damage to wood structures and insulation that cause heat loss. Here's what you can do:

    • Open soffit vents. This will allow air to easily enter the attic (you should be able to see light coming up through the soffit vents if looking during daylight hours)
    • Open roof or gable vents. Make sure light is coming through them.

    Section Two of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on venting and moisture control.

    LightingLighting

    Saving money can be as easy as opening a vent! Proper moisture control in your attic can help prevent damage to wood structures and insulation that cause heat loss. Here's what you can do:

    • Open soffit vents. This will allow air to easily enter the attic (you should be able to see light coming up through the soffit vents if looking during daylight hours)
    • Open roof or gable vents. Make sure light is coming through them.

    Section Two of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on venting and moisture control.

  • Exhaust Fan

    Exaust Fan

    Use me, I’m your exhaust fan in your bathroom! I remove odours, moisture and when used properly I’m energy smart. Just turn me off when my job’s done.

    Leave the fan on too long and within an hour a house full of warm air can be vented right out of the wall.

    Section Five of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on simple ways to cut down heating costs, including the use of exhaust fans.

    Showerhead

    Want to use 50% less hot water and still have lots of pressure?

    ShowerheadGet in the shower with a low-flow showerhead, the only place you’ll notice a difference is in your water and energy usage.

    Switch from a hot bath to a hot shower. A bath uses twice as much hot water!

    Click here for more information about energy efficient water heaters.

    Section Five of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on controlling hot water use.

    Faucet

    FFaucetix the leak in your energy savings plan. One leaky faucet can waste 23-38 litres of water per day. If it’s hot water leaking you’re really wasting water and energy!

    It’s easy to fix a leaky faucet. If you don’t know how to do it, just ask your hardware store, it really is simple and can save up to 7500 litres of water per year.

    Turn it off! Many of us run the faucet when we shave, do the dishes or brush our teeth. Turn the water off and turn on some big water and energy savings.

    Faucet aerators attach easily to the end of the faucet, providing a simple and inexpensive means of cutting water usage. Flow rates for an aerated faucet are about half those of an open faucet.

    Section Five of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on controlling hot water use.

  • Garage

    Garage

    This is an open and shut case for easy energy savings:

    Is your garage attached to your home?
    If it is, keep your garage door closed and make sure the bottom edge of the door is weather stripped and sealed tightly. A warmer garage means a warmer house.

    If you would like to take advantage of your garage year-round keep warm with an infrared garage heater. It is both quieter and more efficient than electrical heaters as it radiates heat on an area to warm you – not the entire garage.

    Air Conditioner

    Air Conditioning

    Escape the heat and escape high energy bills by installing a ceiling fan in the largest rooms of your house.

    Ceiling fans let you lower the setting on your air conditioner (AC) by 3 to 6 degrees. You’ll save 25% of the energy costs of home cooling. (In the winter, reverse ceiling fans to move the warm air that collects near your ceiling.)

    Clean your AC filter screen once a month. This will reduce fan usage and save electricity.

    We know it's tempting, but when turning your AC on, avoid setting it to the coldest setting. Choose a moderate setting to begin with so your AC can warm up for a while, then lower the temperature setting. Your room will cool just as fast.

    In the market for a new air conditioner? For the biggest energy savings look carefully at the EnerGuide rating. Pick a unit that has the highest energy efficiency rating and still fits in your budget.

    To maximize the energy efficiency of your air conditioner, invest in an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat. During the summer set the thermostat at the highest temperature setting for optimal comfort while your at home (25.5°C is usually recommended) and then set it slightly higher while you're at work.

    Going away for more than 24 hours? Shut off your cooling system and save money.

    Do not block the air conditioner vents with drapes or furniture.

    Use the continuous air conditioner fan operation only when continuous air movement is needed to maintain comfortable conditions in the room.

    Section Five of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on different types of air conditioners as well as how to make the most of your air-conditioner.

    Pool Heater

    Pool Heater

    Splash into energy savings.

    Cover up! Keeping your pool covered when it’s not in use is the very best way to prevent heat loss and ramp up your energy savings.

    Use the sun to help heat your pool – it’s free!
    A solar cover uses the sun to heat the water's surface.

    Experiment with lower pool heater settings, find the perfect setting and save energy costs.

    Take care to keep pool heating and cleaning equipment clean and lubricated. Inspect the heater annually for scale, mineral deposits, or corrosion, three things that can lead to lower efficiency and higher costs.

    Use a time clock to preset the exact hours you want your pool heated. When closing a pool for the winter, drain all water from the heater, filter, pump, and piping system. Remove the pump motor and store in a dry place. Click here for more information on natural gas pool heaters.

    Trees

    Trees

    This energy saving tip is all green.

    During the summer, tall trees offer Mother Nature’s equivalent to free air conditioning by providing cooling shade on your home. Think twice about removing mature trees, your home is more comfortable with all the free shade they offer!

    If shrubs or tree foliage interfere with curb appeal and cooling, trim them for better air flow.

    Often our evergreens grow tall without us even realizing that they’re blocking the sun from our lower level windows. During the Winter, trim evergreens that block the sun, your reward will be more free solar heat in the winter (in the summer close the drapes to avoid the free solar heat you don’t want in warm weather!).

    Grill

    Grill

    A delicious grilled meal with energy savings on the side. Reduce your cooking time and save energy.
    Here’s how:

    • When you’re planning a grilled meal, think about foods with comparable cooking times so you can put it all on the grill together.
    • Don’t peek! Keep the grill lid closed as much as possible, it keeps the heat in and saves energy.
    • Grill an extra meal with tonight’s dinner. You’ll have an easy meal for later in the week and you’ll save money by using your grill less.
    • Defrost before grilling – that’s energy saving common sense!

    For information on the features and benefits of natural gas grills, click here.

  • Fridge/Freezer

    Fridge

    For cool savings, look to your fridge and freezer!

    By keeping your condenser coils clean, not overloading the fridge and keeping it away from heat sources you can cut your energy costs.

    Got an energy saving (anti-sweat) switch in your fridge? Turn it on in summer, off in winter.

    Your freezer needs to be full to work efficiently. If you don’t have enough to fill it, freeze 2L pop bottles (fill with water) and put them in your freezer to take up space.

    Check the gaskets on your fridge doors and inspect how your fridge and freezer doors are closing. A simple cleaning is often all that’s needed to get things closing properly again.

    Keeping an old fridge running in the basement or garage isn’t energy wise, it’s costing you $100 a year in extra energy costs.

    Exhaust Fan

    Exhaust Fan

    Did you know the exhaust fan over your range can pull a house full of warm air out in one hour?

    It’s true. Turn the fan off once its finished the job!

    Choose an ENERGY STAR exhaust fan and you’ll use 65% less energy.

    Section Five of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on simple ways to cut down heating costs, including the use of exhaust fans.

    Range

    Range

    Cook up some energy savings by keeping the oven door closed during cooking. Peeking to see if it's ready lets 20% of the heat escape.

    Did you know a natural gas range operates for about ½ the energy costs as a similar electric unit? It's true!

    To more evenly cook your food place a lid over your pots, pans and skillets. The moist heat from the trapped steam will reduce the cooking time.

    Nothing says home quite like something baking in the oven or simmering on the stove, but that doesn't mean there isn't opportunity to save energy too!

    When it comes to cooking and saving energy, choosing natural gas makes all the sense in the world. Natural gas ranges are an economical alternative to electric ranges, especially in the many areas where natural gas rates are substantially lower than electricity.

    Choosing energy-saving features when you're shopping for a new natural gas range will save you money in the long run. Ask about the level of insulation (the higher the better), whether the oven is self-cleaning and if it comes with an infrared broiler which cooks foods faster. The quicker an oven cooks, the more energy you'll save.

    Here are a few easy tips for using your range in an energy wise way and trimming a few dollars off your energy bill:

    • turn your oven off a few minutes before the dish is done, it'll still cook perfectly with the remaining heat
    • match the pot to the right size stove element, too small a pot on too big of an element equals wasted energy
    • a natural gas oven heats up quickly, reducing pre-heating time and unused energy
    • think ahead and cook several meals at once, it's convenient and it's saves a lot of energy

    Click here for more information about energy efficient natural gas ranges.

    Dishwasher

    Dishwasher

    Fill ‘er up! A full to capacity dishwasher cuts energy and detergent costs. Use the shortest cycle and save.

    It’s heating the water in a dishwasher that uses 80% of the energy – an ENERGY STAR dishwasher uses much less water which equals energy savings. Look for the ENERGY STAR label the next time a dishwasher is on your ‘to buy’ list.

    Go ahead and use your dishwasher! Despite popular belief, you will actually use less water and energy to run your dishwasher once a day than hand washing dishes three times a day.

    In the summer run your dishwasher in the evening to avoid warming your home up.

    Section Five of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on water heating.

  • Washer Washer

    Using less hot water in your washer adds up to great energy savings. When it’s appropriate, wash in cold water using specially formulated detergent.

    Have a small load? Lower your water level! Consider buying a washer with load sensing technology. It will automatically adjust the water level to the size of the load.

    Dreaming of a new washer? Think ENERGY STAR front load washers. They can reduce your total water use by almost 45% and your energy use by about 65%, click here for all the details!

    Section Five of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on water heating.

    Dryer Dryer

    A natural gas dryer is your best energy choice – natural gas dries clothes in half the time, using half the energy!

    Heat up some extra savings on laundry day by doing full and consecutive loads (you can take advantage of accumulated heat).

    Keep your dryer filter clean, it really does make a difference.

    Separate lightweight from heavyweight fabrics and dry separately for faster drying.

    Click here for more information.

    Vent Vent

    Energy savings in the dryer are maximized when air flows freely.

    Go outside and inspect your dryer vent for nests, debris or overgrown shrubs that hamper air flow. Check that your automatic damper is working properly.

  • Computer Equipment

    Computer

    Your monitor is the biggest energy user and energy waster on your computer. Over half of the energy used by your computer goes to the monitor, so turn it off when not in use.

    If you choose to have your computer go into 'standby' mode when it's not in use, you're using 30 watts of electricity daily. Cut back by turning the computer off when you don't need it.

    A laptop will save you 10% in energy costs. Next time you're shopping for a computer think about whether a laptop will suit your needs. If a laptop seems like a good idea, look for systems comprised completely of 3.3-volt components (processor, memory and LCD). These systems use 40 to 50% less energy than 5.0-volt systems, and are generally equipped with a lighter battery.

    Other than your fax machine, turn everything off in your office when you're not working.

    Your printer uses a lot of energy. An inkjet is more efficient than a laser printer and regardless of which you have, print only what is necessary to save energy. It may surprise you to know that even in idle mode a laser printer uses up to 35% of its peak power requirements.

    Person

    Person

    Keeping your body warm is easier than raising the temperature in the whole house. Dress in layers that hold your body's heat in the winter. Slippers keep your feet warm and don't add to your heating bill!

    During the summer one of the best ways to keep comfortable is by adding a dehumidifier to your home. That's because dry air is better able to accept the moisture that evaporates and cools your skin when you perspire.

    In winter do your best to keep the air in your home comfortably moist. A humidifier can help. Keep the air in the forty percent humidity range. Not only will a humidifier keep you more comfortable during the winter, it will help keep you healthy. Breathing very dry air can lead to respiratory ailments, nosebleeds, and/or general dehydration.

  • Thermostat

    Thermostat

    Surprise! This little box is a major energy saver.

    Thermostats are a powerhouse of energy savings. For every 1 degree you lower the temperature in your home you can save 1% on your heating bill.

    Where you put your thermostat makes a difference!

    To maximize your energy savings, install your thermostat away from natural cool and hot spots (including hot lights and southern windows).

    An ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat can help you save up to $100 a year!

    Click here to find more about maximizing your energy savings while staying comfy, cozy and warm all winter long.

    Section Five or our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed information on simple ways to cut down your heating costs.

    Fireplace

    Fireplace

    Family gathering place and energy efficiency zone.

    A natural gas fireplace is your very best energy efficiency choice. Wood burning fireplaces lose 75-90% of their heat up the chimney while an energy efficient natural gas fireplace can ensure that up to 80% of the heat it generates ends up where it belongs, in your home!

    Plus, natural gas fireplaces create less pollution than wood burning fireplaces which is great news. For more features and benefits of a natural gas fireplace click here.

    Shopping for a new natural gas fireplace?  Click here for tips on buying energy efficient models.

    Section Two and Section Five of our Wise Energy Guide provide more detailed information about equipment options, simple ways to cut down your heating costs, and some dangers of not caring for your equipment properly.

  • Insulation

    Basement Walls

    Did you know that an unfinished basement has a heat loss of 20-25%? Adding exterior or interior insulation is a major opportunity to improve your home's thermal efficiency.

    Ensure that all exterior basement walls have more than 5cm (2") of insulation (minimum R-value of R-6 to R-10), running the full height, and there is a sealed air/vapour barrier in place on the warm side of the insulation (facing the room). If you aren't able to see insulation or air sealing behind finished walls, you may want to make a small hole to investigate. Once you have investigated, remember to reseal the hole afterwards.

    For more information on Air Sealing & insulation, click here.

    Water HeaterWater Tank

    Water heaters account for 20% of your energy bill. Click here and let's get to work on making the most out of your water heating dollars.

    Furnace

    Keep your furnace operating at peak efficiency and it will use less energy, cost less to operate and you'll be cozy all winter long.

    Click here to get the most out of your furnace heating dollars!