T A K I N G A C... O N C L I M A T... H O M E W O R K

T A K I N G   A C... O N   C L I M A T... H O M E W O R K
TA K I N G AC T I O N
O N C L I M AT E C H A N G E
A T
H O M E
A T
W O R K
O N
T H E
R O A D
M27-01-1257E
Taking Action on Climate Change
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 1999
WE’RE ALL
PA R T O F T H E
SOLUTION
A
re you concerned about climate
change and what it means for
our environment, our economy and
our future? Then you’re probably
wondering what you can do about it.
The answer is – lots! All Canadians produce
greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing these
emissions is a big part of the solution to the
problem of climate change. Actions by
individuals at home, at work and on the road
are an essential part of Canada’s climate change
response. The energy-using habits of individual
Canadians account for about 28 percent of
Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions –
almost five tonnes per person every year!
The easiest way to be part of the solution is to
use energy more efficiently. Small steps really do
make a difference in reducing Canada’s total
energy consumption, especially when millions
of Canadians from coast to coast are taking
those steps.
Using less energy not only cuts greenhouse gas
emissions, it reduces pollutants that cause smog
and acid rain. And let’s not forget one of the
most important benefits of all: energy efficiency
will save you money – possibly hundreds of
dollars a year!
This brochure offers dozens of tips on how to
reduce your energy consumption and costs, and
contribute to Canada’s climate change efforts.
Remember, your actions can make a difference!
1
THERE’S
NO PLACE
LIKE
HOME
T
here are many practical things
you can do to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions, and a great place to start
is at home. Research shows that the
average Canadian home produces
6.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
Here are some ways
to reduce emissions,
make your home
more comfortable
and save money.
2
YO U R L I V I N G A R E A
• Use caulking and weatherstripping to reduce air
leakage around windows, doors, baseboards and
the attic hatch. This simple step can save up to
20 percent on your home heating costs.
• Foam insulation and caulking can be used to seal
other areas where air leaks are common – around
plumbing vents, holes for electrical wiring,
exhaust fans and junction boxes, as well as gaps at
the top of exterior walls, such as where the house
frame sits on the basement wall.
• Use foam gaskets and childproof plugs or
combination cover plate units to seal electrical
outlets and switches on outside walls.
• Upgrade the insulation in the walls and attic of
your home. This is best done during a renovation
project, such as when you are remodelling a
kitchen or bathroom. Simply insulating your
basement walls can reduce your energy bill by
up to 35 percent.
• Your windows should have at least two layers
of glazing. If necessary, install storm windows
(either interior or exterior) to add an extra layer of
glazing.
• If your windows need to be replaced, install ones
that are energy-efficient. Look for windows that
have a certification label issued by the Canadian
Window and Door Manufacturers Association.
Energy-efficient windows typically have double- or
triple-glazing, a low-e coating, an inert gas sealed
between the layers of glazing, insulated frames and
low-conductivity spacers.
• Exterior doors that are in poor repair should
be replaced with core-insulated, steel-clad doors,
which have low air leakage and provide good
insulation performance year after year.
Storm doors can also boost your home’s
energy efficiency.
3
• Have an EnerGuide for Houses evaluation done of
your home. A qualified, licensed professional will
conduct a thorough inspection of your house,
identify opportunities for energy savings, and
provide a report that will explain how and where
you can make improvements. You may be able to
improve the energy efficiency of your house by up
to 20 percent simply through weatherization. See
page 16 to find out how you can get more
information.
• If you are planning on buying a new home, ask
your builder to make sure it’s an R-2000 home. An
R-2000 home offers not only energy efficiency but
excellent indoor air quality and comfort.
MECHANICAL SYSTEMS
• Install energy-efficient space heating and cooling
equipment. Information is readily available on gas
and propane furnaces, air-conditioning equipment
and air-to-air heat pumps that can help you
compare different models based on their energy
consumption. EnerGuide ratings can be found on
the back of manufacturers’ product brochures.
Room air conditioners have an EnerGuide label
affixed to them.
• Arrange to have your heating system serviced once
a year, before the heating season begins. A furnace
that is not operating properly wastes fuel and can
endanger your health by spilling carbon monoxide
and other gases into your home.
Arrange to have your
heating system serviced
once a year, before the
heating season begins.
4
• Clean or change the filters in your forced-air
system every month, and keep return air grilles
and warm-air vents clean and free of obstructions.
If you have a high-efficiency furnace, check the
sidewall exhaust regularly to make sure it is free of
obstructions.
• Seal leaky joints in your home’s ductwork with
aluminum duct tape or duct mastic, and insulate
all warm-air ducts that pass through unheated
areas, such as the basement or crawl space.
• Install a programmable thermostat to
automatically change the temperature of your
house at different times of the day. For example,
you can program the thermostat to turn down the
heat to 17°C (63°F) at night, when you are asleep,
or during the day if everyone is out of the house.
For every degree you lower the heating level,
you’ll save two percent on your heating bill.
• In summer, adjust your air conditioner’s
thermostat when you go out, and shut down your
system when you are away for extended periods
(more than 24 hours). Unnecessary cooling wastes
energy and money.
• To keep air-conditioning costs to a minimum, turn
off any incandescent lights that are not needed,
since these generate heat. Also, turn off any
electrical equipment that is not being used. Keep
doors, windows and blinds/drapes closed in the
heat of the day, and open your windows in the
cool of the night.
APPLIANCES
• Get rid of that old beer fridge in the basement. An
inefficient refrigerator with an ill-fitting door can
cost hundreds of dollars a year to operate. If you
need more refrigeration space consider a new,
more efficient larger refrigerator. It will consume
much less energy than two, provide many new
features and save you from making a special trip
downstairs to get your beer!
5
Let dishes air-dry
rather than using
the dishwasher’s
drying cycle.
• When purchasing a major household appliance – a
refrigerator, freezer, range, dishwasher, clothes
washer or dryer – check the EnerGuide label. The
label will help you select the most energy-efficient
model – it tells you how much energy the
appliance will typically use in a year and compares
this consumption to similar models.
• Almost all of the energy used by clothes washers is
for heating the hot water used to wash the clothes.
Only about 10 percent or less of the energy is used
by the electric motor that runs the machine. The
best way to improve the efficiency of a clothes
washer is to reduce the amount of water,
particularly hot water, that is needed to wash
the clothes.
• Let dishes air-dry rather than using the
dishwasher’s drying cycle. It works, and it won’t
cost you a nickel in energy.
• When using your oven, turn it off a few minutes
before cooking is complete; the heat already in the
oven will finish the job.
6
• Microwave cooking can reduce energy
consumption by two thirds and produces much
less waste heat than your stove. Convection ovens
consume up to one third less energy than standard
ovens. Toaster ovens and slow cookers are also a
great way to reduce energy use in the kitchen.
• When using your range, select appropriately sized
pots and pans with tight-fitting lids and cook at
lower temperatures. A six-inch pan on an eightinch element wastes 40 percent of the element’s
heat output.
• Don’t force your refrigerator or freezer to work
harder than necessary by locating it near a heat
source, such as a stove, radiator, washer or dryer.
• Vacuum your refrigerator’s heating coils every
three months: dust buildup causes the compressor
to work harder and reduces its life expectancy.
Make sure there are no gaps in the door seal.
• Don’t overfill your refrigerator or freezer. Cool air
needs to circulate freely throughout the interior of
the appliance.
• Avoid over-drying clothes by letting your dryer’s
automatic sensor determine when the load is
finished. Better yet, hang clothes outdoors to dry.
• Clean your dryer’s lint filter after each load, and
clean the dryer duct regularly. Clogged filters and
ducts restrict airflow, decrease energy efficiency
and can be a fire hazard.
LIGHTING
• Use compact fluorescent lighting wherever you
can. Compact fluorescents use up to 75 percent
less energy than a comparable standard
incandescent bulb, produce much less waste
heat and last up to 10 times longer.
7
• Turn off lights when they are not needed. One
way to do this is with a timer that turns lights on
and off according to a pre-set schedule. Photocells
and motion detectors can also be used to turn on
lights only when they are needed.
• Whenever possible, use task lights (such as
desktop or reading lamps) rather than overhead
lights. Keep your lamps and fixtures clean to avoid
turning on extra lights or using higher wattage
bulbs.
HOME
ELECTRONICS
• When purchasing a new
home computer, video, or
audio system, look for the
Energy Star logo – a sign that
the equipment has met a high
level of energy efficiency.
• Avoid buying a laser printer unless you
absolutely need one. They are by far the most
expensive printers to operate. An ink-jet printer
will produce almost the same quality at a much
lower cost.
• Turn off computers, printers, televisions, radios
and other energy-consuming devices when they
are not needed. You’ll not only save money and
reduce greenhouse gas emissions, you’ll extend the
life of the equipment.
W AT E R C O N S U M P T I O N
• Fix leaky faucets immediately. A dripping faucet
can waste an enormous amount of hot water. At
one drop per second, a single leaky washer wastes
the equivalent of 16 hot baths every month.
8
• Lower your water heater’s thermostat to 60°C
(140°F).
• Consider insulating your hot water tank (consult
your utility first, especially for gas heaters). In
addition, insulate water pipes that run through
unheated areas.
• Install low-flow showerheads, which use up to
60 percent less water than conventional showers.
This do-it-yourself project takes only a few
minutes but delivers big savings in water consumption and hot water heating. High-efficiency
faucets can save four to seven percent of your total
hot water consumption. Aerators are one kind of
high-efficiency faucet.
OUTDOORS
• Think energy efficiency when doing yard work.
Limit your use of power lawn mowers, leaf
blowers, snowblowers, etc.
• Reuse, recycle and compost your waste. It takes
much less energy to reuse or recycle a product
than to make a new one. In addition, correctly
composting your food and yard wastes eliminates
the methane (also a greenhouse gas) they would
cause at a landfill site.
• Avoid using pesticides on your lawn and garden.
Chemical fertilizers are a source of nitrous oxide, a
greenhouse gas.
• Plant trees. A well-placed line of evergreens on the
north side of your home can provide shelter
against cold winter winds and reduce your home’s
demand for heat. Similarly, properly placed shade
trees on the south side can make your home
cooler in summer and reduce its demand for air
conditioning. Trees also absorb and store carbon
dioxide and filter out pollution.
9
ENERGY
EFFICIENCY
IN THE
WO R K P L AC E
M
any Canadians spend a good
part of their day in a work
environment. Wherever you work – in
an office, a store, a factory, in the great
outdoors or on the road – there are
bound to be opportunities to save
energy. Consider the following tips and
take advantage of the ones that make
sense for you.
• Turn equipment off when it is not in use,
including computers, photocopiers, cash registers
and coffee makers, particularly overnight and on
weekends (frequently switching equipment on and
off will not damage the components). The last
person out of the office or building every day
should make this a habit.
• If your computer has integrated power
management capabilities, ensure the system is
configured to use them. Where printers and
photocopiers have an energy-saver mode, make
sure it is operating (machines are often shipped
with this feature disabled).
• Avoid using a laser printer for draft-quality
printouts. From an energy efficiency perspective,
the order of preference is ink-jet, dot matrix
and laser.
10
• Use as little paper as possible. Printing,
photocopying and faxing all use energy.
Communicating electronically through e-mail and
fax/modems is quicker, less expensive, more
productive and healthier for the environment.
• Print and copy on both sides of paper. Doublesided printing or copying reduces paper costs,
saves filing space and minimizes the amount of
energy and fibre required for paper production.
• Reuse paper for draft printouts and note taking.
Ink-jet printers, copiers, fax machines and dot
matrix printers can all handle used paper (reusing
paper in laser printers is not recommended).
• Use recycled paper (including unbleached paper)
whenever possible.
• Turn off lights when a work area is not being used.
Even better, don’t turn them on in the first place.
Natural light saves energy and is easier on the
eyes. Open curtains and blinds to bring more
natural light into your work area.
• Install timers and motion sensors in areas that
don’t need to be lit all the time. Use photocells to
turn on outdoor lighting only when needed.
• Encourage your employer to launch an awareness
program to motivate employees to improve energy
efficiency in the workplace. For help, visit the web
site of Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy
Efficiency (see page 16).
Natural light saves energy
and is easier on the eyes.
Open curtains and blinds
to bring more natural light
into your work area.
11
TA K I N G
IT ON THE
ROAD
C
anadians love their cars – we
own more vehicles and drive
them further than ever before. But
that’s taking a heavy toll on the
environment. The transportation sector
is the single largest producer of
greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
Reducing energy consumption by
vehicles – including the family car –
will be a big part of the climate change
solution. Here are some steps you can
take to reduce your fuel consumption,
operating costs and exhaust emissions.
D R I V I N G YO U R V E H I C L E
• One sure-fire way to reduce emissions and save
money is to drive less. Take advantage of public
transit or try sharing rides with neighbours or
co-workers. Active forms of transportation,
such as walking, cycling or inline skating,
avoid greenhouse gas emissions and promote
good health.
12
• Aggressive driving saves very little time and
increases fuel consumption and emissions. A
European test showed that “jack-rabbit” starts and
hard braking reduced travel time by only four
percent. Fuel consumption, however, increased by
39 percent and some toxic emissions were more
than five times higher.
• Keep to the speed limit. Driving at 100 km/h
burns 10 percent more fuel than driving at 90
km/h. On the highway, use cruise control to
maintain a steady speed and reduce fuel
consumption.
• Avoid needless stops and starts, which consume
extra fuel. Keep an eye on cars ahead of you and
adjust to changes in traffic flow gradually and
smoothly.
• Turn your car off when it is stopped. Restarting
the engine uses less fuel than 10 seconds of idling
and produces less air pollution. In winter, don’t
idle a cold engine for more than 30 seconds before
driving away.
• Plan your trips to avoid traffic jams and to
combine errands and save fuel and time. Limit the
use of your vehicle’s air conditioner. In stop-andgo traffic, air conditioning can increase fuel
consumption by as much as 20 percent. At low
city speeds, open windows can be a fuel-saving
alternative to air conditioning.
• To stay cool at highway speeds, use your car’s
flow-through ventilation. Avoid opening the
sunroof and windows at highway speeds – this
causes wind resistance, which increases fuel
consumption.
• Consider using ethanol-enhanced gasoline. The
use of ethanol reduces a vehicle’s emissions. Check
your owner’s manual before using an ethanolblended fuel.
13
• Roof racks, even when empty, increase
aerodynamic drag and therefore boost fuel
consumption. In the case of permanent, factoryinstalled units, the fuel penalty will be minimal
but the disadvantage is that it’s always there.
Removable roof racks may be a better option since
they increase aerodynamic drag only when they’re
installed.
• Use a block heater in winter when the temperature
drops to -20°C (-4°F) or below. A block heater
keeps your engine oil and coolant warm, which
makes the vehicle easier to start and can increase
winter fuel economy by as much as 10 percent.
Use a timer to switch on the block heater one or
two hours before you plan to drive.
BUYING A VEHICLE
• Fuel efficiency should be one of your main
considerations when buying a vehicle. For new
cars, vans and light-duty trucks, check the
EnerGuide label, which offers standardized
information on the vehicle’s city and highway fuel
consumption and estimated annual fuel cost.
• If you are buying a used vehicle, consult the Fuel
Consumption Guide for that model year. The
Guide provides city and highway fuel
consumption ratings for cars, vans and light-duty
trucks sold each year in Canada. See page 16 for
information on how to order your free copy.
• Don’t buy more car than you need. Bigger cars and
bigger engines generally consume more fuel than
smaller vehicles. Options such as power windows
and power seats add weight to the car, make the
engine work harder and burn more fuel.
• Consider purchasing a vehicle that uses natural gas
or propane rather than gasoline. The use of these
fuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions from
vehicles. Some alternative transportation fuel
vehicles are certified as low-emission vehicles.
14
M A I N TA I N I N G
YO U R V E H I C L E
• Give your car a full tune-up according to the
manufacturer’s recommendations. A poorly tuned
engine can use up to 50 percent more fuel and
produce up to 50 percent more emissions than one
that is running properly.
• Change the oil and filter regularly. Oil breaks
down over time and loses its ability to lubricate,
cool and protect your engine.
• Check your tire pressure at least once a month
when the tires are cold (when the vehicle has not
been driven for at least three hours or when it has
been driven for less than two kilometres). A tire
that is under-inflated by only 6 psi (40 kPa) can
increase fuel consumption by three percent or
more. Under-inflated tires also wear out faster and
are unsafe.
• Vehicle emission systems need special attention
in order to ensure fuel efficiency and good
environmental performance. Make sure your
mechanic checks the emission system as part of
routine servicing.
Don’t buy more car
than you need. Bigger cars
and bigger engines generally
consume more fuel than
smaller vehicles.
15
GETTING
S TA R T E D
A
s you can see, becoming part of
the climate change solution is
easy. It’s as simple as making a personal
commitment today to live a more
energy-efficient lifestyle at home, at
work and on the road.
To order free publications on how to
improve your energy efficiency and
reduce greenhouse gas emissions, call
1 8øø O-Canada (1 8øø 622-6232) or
visit the Government of Canada’s
main climate change web site at
http://www.climatechange.gc.ca.
For more information on climate
change in general, visit the following
web sites:
• Office of Energy Efficiency web site:
http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca
• Environment Canada’s Green Lane:
http://www.ec.gc.ca
• Health Canada: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
(click first on “Healthy living” and then on
“Environment and health”)
• Transport Canada: http://www.tc.gc.ca
16
SPRING AND SUMMER
Quick Reminders
1.
2.
3.
Give your car a spring tune-up — and remove snow
tires as soon as possible.
Set your air conditioner at 25°C. When you’re out of
town, shut it off completely.
Check the EnerGuide label when buying an air
conditioner or major household appliance.
4. Hang clothes outdoors to dry.
5. Driving 120km/hr rather than 90km/hr increases fuel
consumption by 20%.
6.
7.
8.
Leave the car at home: bike or roller-blade to the
corner store.
Ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting
the engine.
Install motion sensors or timers on outdoor lights.
For more information call:
1 8øø O-CANADA (1 8øø 622-6232)
or visit our website: http://www.climatechange.gc.ca
FALL AND WINTER
Quick Reminders
1.
2.
3.
4.
Declare war on cold drafts and heat loss. Seal air leaks
around doors, windows and the attic hatch.
Make sure you put all your storm windows on for
the winter.
Your car needs a fall tune-up — and so does your
furnace. Have them both serviced before the cold
weather sets in.
Turn down your thermostat when you go to bed, and
turn it up again in the morning.
5. Don’t be an idler! Turn off your car when it’s stopped.
6. Use a block heater for easy engine starting and better
fuel economy.
7.
8.
Check your vehicle’s tire pressure regularly, especially
after there has been a sharp drop in temperature.
Put holiday lights on a timer to save electricity
and money.
For more information call:
1 8øø O-CANADA (1 8øø 622-6232)
or visit our website: http://www.climatechange.gc.ca
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