Cooling your home in the summer
- Make sure your window air conditioner is the right size to cool your room.
- Use portable fans instead of the furnace fan.
- Cut down the amount of time you run your air conditioner by using a fan to further circulate cooled air.
- Close your window coverings during the hottest part of the day.
- Install awnings or shutters to keep the sun out of any south-facing windows.
- Choose light colors for your roof and siding. Dark colors absorb heat into the house.
- During the day, when you're running your air conditioner, close your windows to keep the cool air in. Overnight, turn off your air conditioning and open your windows to get a cross-draft.
- Turn down your thermostat setting or turn it off completely.
- Make sure your attic vents are unobstructed so air can move freely.
Heating your home in the winter
- Save energy by leaving areas without insulation (like the garage, crawlspace or attic) unheated.
- Close your doors and warm air supply registers in any of your unused rooms.
- Check all your windows, doors and electrical outlets for air leaks. If you find air leaks in your electrical outlets, take off the covers and install gaskets to block the leaks.
- If you're cold, try putting on a sweater or slippers instead of turning up the heat.
- Double-glaze your windows to prevent heat loss.
- Use "door socks" (material stuffed with sand or birdseed) to prevent heat loss from under your doors.
- Change your indoor light timers to adjust to changes in daylight hours.
- Clean your space heaters on a regular basis to lower the risk of fire.
- Close your curtains as soon as the sun goes down in winter to keep the warmth in the room.
- Make sure all your furniture is at least 30cm away from all heating vents. Check to ensure your drapes aren't blocking your vents and that your vents are clean and completely open for proper air circulation.
- Install a programmable thermostat, and set lower temperatures for while you're sleeping or away from home. This will add up to savings on your energy bill (on average, a 2% savings for every degree you drop) and will significantly decrease your household greenhouse gas emissions (a 3°C drop will cut your greenhouse emissions by half a tonne).
- Position your thermostat where it isn't affected by heat or draft sources to maintain a consistent temperature.
- Conventional wood fireplaces are at most 10% efficient. Make sure the damper is closed when not in use. Consider installing advanced combustion fireplaces that are up to 70% more efficient.
- Turn down your thermostat when you use your fireplace.
- Keep your gas fireplace's thermostat turned to as low a setting as possible to prevent it from turning on when the room isn't in use.
When you're away for winter or summer holidays
- Turn your hot water heater down, but not below 60 degrees Celcius to avoid bacterial growth.
- Unplug all electronics to save energy and protect from possible power surges.
- Close all your window coverings to keep from over-heating the house.