Spending less at home
Save on heating and cooling
- Lower the temperature of your hot water to about 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) – you're less likely to burn yourself and you’ll reduce your energy costs.
- Insulate older hot water heaters and pipes. Insulate or replace older windows to eliminate drafts.
- Keep your furnace in good working order. This includes cleaning and changing the filters.
- Change your thermostat settings. Set your furnace no higher than 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter. Set your air conditioner no lower than 25 degrees Celsius (78 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer.
- Don’t heat or cool parts of your home that you rarely use – close the vents if you can.
- In winter, open blinds or curtains on the sunny side of the house to let the sun in. Close them at night and on hot summer days.
Tip: Install a programmable thermostat so you're not paying to heat or cool your house when you're out. Your utility may help you cover the cost. For example, they may offer you a rebate.
Saving on hydro
- Wash clothes in cold water. Hang your laundry outside to dry if you can in your area. Some places may have rules about this.
- Cook with a microwave instead of an oven.
- Install energy-saving light bulbs in areas where lights are on a lot. They use less power and last longer – but you still get the same amount of light. They may cost more, but they pay for themselves in the long run.
- Don't like coming home to a dark house? Don't leave lights on all day – install timers to turn lights on and off instead. Use motion detectors for outdoor lighting.
- Remember to turn things off when you leave the room. Turn off lights, radios, TVs and computers – including computer monitors. Don’t leave chargers plugged in when you’re not using them.
Tip: Many electronics use electricity even when they're turned off. Plug them into a power bar and shut off the power, not just the machine.
More ways to save
- Telephone, cable and internet companies offer many different plans. Pick the one that meets your needs and your budget. Don’t pay for services you won't use.
- Don't run up extra charges on your cell phone. Use only as many minutes as your plan allows. Use a regular phone line to make non- urgent calls and to check your cell phone voice mail.
- Are unread magazines piling up on your coffee table? Cancel the subscription.