350 Energy- and Money-Saving Tips OVER ENERGY- AND MONEY-

350 Energy- and Money-Saving Tips OVER ENERGY- AND MONEY-
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Energy- and Money-Saving Tips
OVER
350
ENERGY- AND MONEYSAVING TIPS
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National Library of Canada cataloguing in publication data
Main entry under title:
Tips: 350 energy- and money-saving tips
Issued also in French under title:
Trucs : 350 trucs en matière d’économie d’énergie et d’argent.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 0-662-33661-5
Cat. No. M144-5/2003E
1.
2.
3.
4.
I.
Energy conservation – Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Dwellings – Energy conservation – Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Household appliances – Energy conservation – Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Energy conservation – Canada – Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Canada. Natural Resources Canada.
TJ163.3T56 2003
644.
C2003-980104-7
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2003
March 2003
To receive additional free copies of this publication, write to:
Energy Publications
Office of Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Canada
c/o S.J.D.S.
Ottawa ON K1A 1L3
Facsimile: (819) 779-2833
Toll-free: 1 800 387-2000
You can also view order several of the Office of Energy Efficiency’s publications on-line.
Visit our Energy Publications Virtual Library at oee.nrcan.gc.ca/infosource.
The Office of Energy Efficiency’s Web site is at oee.nrcan.gc.ca.
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Contents
PA R T 4 : M A J O R A P P L I A N C E S
I NTRODUCTION
8
Forced-Air Furnaces ................................................ 8–10
Heating ................................................................................
– Oil Furnaces
– Natural Gas Furnaces
– Cooktops
– Ovens
43–44
Clothes Washers ............................................................ 45
Clothes Dryers ................................................................ 46
Dishwashers ..........................................................
11
Hot Water Heating............................................................ 11
Air-to-Air Heat Pumps .................................................. 12
Fireplaces .................................................................. 13–15
Electric Heaters ................................................................
– Wood Stoves and Wood-Burning Fireplaces
– Gas Fireplaces
Air Conditioning ....................................................
– Room Air Conditioners
– Central Air Conditioners
16–17
Ventilation ................................................................
– Ductwork
– Exhaust Fans
– Ceiling Fans
– Vents and Air Intakes
– Whole House Ventilation Systems
17–19
PA R T 5 : S M A L L A P P L I A N C E S
48
Microwave Ovens .......................................................... 48
Electric Kettles ................................................................ 48
Toaster Ovens ..................................................................
P A R T 6 : L I G H T I N G ........................................
49–51
P A R T 7 : H O M E O F F I C E S ............................
53–55
P A R T 8 : V E H I C L E S ........................................
57–60
P A R T 9 : Y A R D M A C H I N E RY ,
P O O L S A N D C OT TA G E S
PA R T 2 : H O U S I N G
22
Humidity Control .................................................. 23–25
Thermostats ......................................................................
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38–40
Freezers .............................................................................. 41
Cooking Stoves ...................................................... 42–43
Refrigerators ..........................................................
P A R T 1 : H E AT I N G , V E N T I L AT I O N
AN D AI R CON DITION I NG
Dehumidifiers
Insulation
Attics
Basements
Attached Garages
62
Snowblowers .................................................................... 62
Pools.................................................................................... 63
Cottages.............................................................................. 63
Lawn Mowers and Rototillers ....................................
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Boats
Snowmobiles
Hot Water Heater
Heating
Closing Up in the Fall
Caulking and Weatherstripping........................ 26–30
– Windows
– Doors
P A R T 10 : WA S T E M A NA G E M E N T
P A R T 3 : WAT E R U S E
Recycling ..........................................................................
In the Bathroom ....................................................
– Showers
– Toilets
32–33
33
Outdoor Water Consumption ............................ 33–34
Hot Water Heaters ................................................ 35–36
In the Kitchen ..................................................................
66
Composting ...................................................................... 66
PART 11: I N F O R MATI O N R E S O U R C E S ......
67–68
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Introduction
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR WAYS TO REDUCE ENERGY USE AROUND
YOUR HOME AND ON THE ROAD?
It’s the little things that
count: shut off the lights when you leave a room, turn off
your computer at night, regularly clean the coils on the back
of your refrigerator and check your vehicle’s tire pressure.
Together, actions such as these help you save money and
protect the environment. After all, the less energy we use,
the fewer air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions we
produce that contribute to climate change.
Start Saving!
This booklet contains hundreds of helpful energy- and
money-saving hints. Flip through and you’ll find valuable
information on the causes of energy loss as well as
facts on EnerGuide and ENERGY STAR® that will help you
shop for a new vehicle, new appliances and heating
and cooling products. Read on to learn about simple
and often inexpensive ways that your whole family can
pitch in — and get ready to reap the savings!
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Natural Resources Canada’s
Office of Energy Efficiency
At Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency, we help Canadians find
better ways to use energy and get the most from their energy dollars while protecting the environment. Learn more by visiting us on-line at oee.nrcan.gc.ca.
Shop Smart
Look for references to EnerGuide and ENERGY STAR throughout this booklet.
They will guide you to the best energy-saving products and help you calculate
an appliance’s annual electricity cost or vehicle fuel consumption costs.
EnerGuide is a Government of Canada system that rates the energy consumption
and efficiency of household appliances, heating and ventilation equipment, air
conditioners, houses and vehicles.
EnerGuide for Appliances
and Equipment
You’ll find the EnerGuide label on all kinds
of products, from refrigerators to cars. The
EnerGuide label enables you to compare
the energy performance of different products and make informed buying decisions.
EnerGuide also helps you calculate how much electricity your new product will cost
you each year.
Simply take the EnerGuide rating on the label and multiply it by the amount you
pay for electricity per kilowatt hour (kWh).
Let’s say your electricity rate is 7¢ per kWh, and the EnerGuide rating on the
appliance you’re going to buy is 400 kWh per year.
Based on the EnerGuide calculation, you can expect to pay about $28 per year
in electricity for the appliance (400 x 0.07 = 28).
For more information on EnerGuide, visit the Web site at oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energuide.
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ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR is an international symbol that is applied to products that meet or
exceed high levels of energy efficiency. Products that feature the ENERGY STAR
symbol are among the top energy performers on the market.
But there’s more to ENERGY STAR qualified products than saving money – they’re
also better for the environment. Energy-efficient products use less energy, which
in turn creates less demand on the electrical generation system. This is where the
worst of the pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions come from when using
appliances.
EnerGuide for Houses
Developed and quality-assured by the Government of Canada, EnerGuide for
Houses is an evaluation service that determines the energy efficiency of homes.
EnerGuide for Houses is delivered to homeowners across Canada, for a reasonable fee, by a network of independent experts in private sector companies,
not-for-profit organizations, associations and government agencies.
The evaluation service helps homeowners plan where and how to build energy
efficiency into their home’s repair and renovation over time.
The evaluation service, which takes one to two hours to complete, involves a walkthrough evaluation of aspects of the home that contribute to its energy use – the
exterior surfaces (i.e., the building envelope); windows; insulation; hot water,
heating and cooling and ventilation systems; and airtightness. Homeowners receive
a written report and have an opportunity to discuss it with the evaluator. The report
outlines problems, potential renovation issues and cost-effective remedies.
Each house also receives a label that shows the EnerGuide rating of the house’s
energy efficiency before upgrades. Homeowners are offered a free second evaluation and a new EnerGuide label after key upgrades are completed, which they
can use to prove the value of their energy upgrades when they are reselling
their home.
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Typical EnerGuide for Houses ratings (bearing in mind regional variations in
construction and age) are as follows:
• Old house not upgraded .............................................................................................. 0 to 50
• Upgraded old house...................................................................................................... 51 to 65
• Energy-efficient upgraded old house or typical new house ........................ 66 to 74
• Energy-efficient new house ...................................................................................... 75 to 79
• Highly energy-efficient new house........................................................................ 80 to 90
• House requiring little or no purchased energy ................................................ 91 to 100
EnerGuide for Vehicles
The EnerGuide for Vehicles label is affixed to all new vehicles sold in Canada. It
provides consumers with information on the city and highway fuel consumption
of new vehicles along with their estimated annual fuel costs. The estimated
annual fuel cost shown on the label is based on 20 000 km travelled, based on
55 percent city and 45 percent highway driving and projected costs for gasoline
and diesel fuel. Using this information and vehicle fuel consumption ratings,
consumers can compare vehicles and find the one that is the most fuel efficient
and has the lowest annual fuel consumption and fuel cost.
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Part 1
Heating,
Ventilation
and Air
Conditioning
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Heating
Forced-Air Furnaces
Your heating bill makes up as much as two thirds
of your annual energy bill. That’s why it pays
not only to shop smart when choosing a heating
system for your home, but also to keep your
system clean and well maintained.
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Today, most Canadian homes are heated by
forced-air furnaces (oil, natural gas or electric)
or by electric baseboard heaters.
Forced-air furnaces — whether fuelled by oil,
natural gas or electricity — are similar for two
reasons. They draw cooler air from your house
through a system of cold-air return ducts. This
cooler air is then reheated and, using fans and
ductwork, forced throughout your house.
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Installing one of today’s highly energy-efficient
furnaces can save you up to 25 percent of your
home heating costs and will pay you back for
its higher initial cost in only a few years.
Since so much of your energy costs come from heating your home,
why not let the sun do some of the work? Here are two things you
can do when planning where to build and when designing your house:
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Building a new home?
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• Design your home so that the main living areas – and the largest
windows – are located mostly on one side of the house.
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• Place the home on your lot so that the side of the house with the most
and largest windows faces south.
The sun’s rays will easily enter your home throughout the year and help out
with household heating. This is called passive solar design, which can save
you up to 20 percent on your house’s total energy requirements. However,
if the windows are inefficient and badly placed, savings will be lost.
Passive solar design is a technique incorporated into the R-2000* Standard,
which can be used for any home. This made-in-Canada standard uses tried
and tested leading-edge building techniques to produce a healthy, comfortable and highly energy-efficient home that pays you back year after year in
energy savings.
Before you decide what to build, speak to an R-2000 builder and ask
what models are available. R-2000 builders are listed on the Web site
at oee.nrcan.gc.ca/r-2000.
* R-2000 is an official mark of Natural Resources Canada.
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Have your furnace serviced regularly. A properly
maintained furnace works safely and at peak
efficiency. Major care of your forced-air furnace
should be left to a qualified service technician,
but you can do many things yourself to help
keep your furnace working well.
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Check for a dirty flame. You’ll find a small
flap covering a hole on the front of your furnace. Opening the flap enables you to see the
burner’s flame inside. If black smoke is coming from the tip of the flame, your burner
probably needs adjustment.
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Check for soot around the flap and chimney.
As soot builds up, it reduces the efficiency
of your furnace. Call a qualified service
technician if you think that your furnace
needs cleaning.
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As part of your furnace’s annual service visit,
ask to have the chimney and furnace vent system checked. Pipes must be properly connected,
and there should be no signs of rust or other
damage. Ask the service technician to check that
nothing has fallen into the base of the chimney
or into the flue.
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Change or clean furnace filters every one to two
months throughout the year. Dirty air filters block
airflow and can damage the heat exchanger.
OI L FU R NAC E S
A furnace-filter alarm will let you know when
the filter needs to be changed. These alarms
make a whistling sound when they sense that
filters are dirty.
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If your furnace has a fan belt, inspect it for
cracks or signs of wear (and replace it if
necessary) when you change the filter. (Be
sure to always shut off the electricity at the
appliance switch and circuit-breaker panel
before inspecting and changing filters and
fan belts. Always read the furnace manual
or contact a qualified technician.)
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For your safety, make sure that furnace
panels and grilles are kept in place and that
fan compartment doors remain closed when
your furnace is operating.
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By adjusting the variable-diameter pulley
on your furnace’s fan motor, you can increase
fan speed and airflow through your house.
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Make sure that hoods and pipes on all fuelburning equipment are securely attached and
that outside vents and chimney liners are not
blocked by leaves or birds’ nests.
Keep the area around your furnace clear. Do not
store items against the furnace, never store flammable items in the furnace room, and do not
block or close any of the furnace’s air openings.
NAT U R A L G A S
FU R NAC E S
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If your furnace is equipped with a continuous
pilot light, you can save money by turning
off the pilot light during the summer months.
Although your furnace’s manual may contain
detailed instructions, we recommend that your
heating contractor relight the unit as part of
your fall furnace maintenance visit.
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Never insulate or seal draft hoods, wind caps
and exhaust vents on natural gas appliances.
As part of your furnace’s annual service visit,
ask to have the chimney and furnace vent
system checked. Pipes must be properly connected, and there should be no signs of rust
or damage. Ask the service technician to make
sure that nothing has fallen into the base
of the chimney or into the flue.
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Cut Your Costs!
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If you’re in the market for a new furnace, think about getting an EnerGuide
for Houses evaluation for your home first. By air sealing and insulating your
home before you install a new furnace, your heating requirements could be
considerably reduced. You may even be able to purchase a smaller model
(see “Is Bigger Better?” on this page). You can ask your EnerGuide for
Houses advisor to provide you with a heat load calculation to help you
buy a correctly sized furnace. You can find an advisor in your area on the
EnerGuide for Houses Web site at oee.nrcan.gc.ca/houses.
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Looking to Buy?
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Compare furnaces when you shop. Check the back of manufacturers’
brochures for EnerGuide ratings. You’ll also see a rating for AFUE, or
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency. The AFUE number is a measure of
the furnace’s efficiency – i.e., how much fuel it has to burn in a year to keep
a house comfortable. The higher the AFUE number, the more efficient the
furnace. Furnaces that have AFUE numbers over 90 meet ENERGY STAR performance levels. These furnaces may cost more to buy, but they will save as
much as 40 percent of your home heating costs each year. In most cases, it
will take only a few years to recover the extra cost of a better furnace.
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Is Bigger Better?
When it comes to furnaces, bigger is not always better. If your furnace is too
large, the unit will stop and start often, which burns more fuel – and costs you
more money. That’s why it’s important to buy and install the furnace that is
right for your house. Some furnace installers will perform heat-loss/heat-gain
calculations to find the furnace that matches the size of your home.
Independent EnerGuide for Houses advisors can also offer this service. Other
installers base their recommendations simply on the size of your house;
however, these calculations are not always accurate because not all homes
of the same size have the same heating needs.
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Electric Heaters
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Install electric baseboard heaters at floor level
along outside walls. Whenever possible, make
sure that baseboard heaters are either under
windows or near windows or doors.
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To avoid fire hazards, keep baseboard and space
heaters away from furniture, rugs and drapes.
Use portable electric space heaters in hard-toheat areas such as home offices, garages and
enclosed porches. These heaters provide
warmth only when and where it’s needed.
Hot Water Heating
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To save energy, make sure that water pipes
going to and from radiators are well insulated
in areas of the house where extra heat is not
required.
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Air must flow freely around and through
radiators to properly heat rooms in your
home. Place all furniture, rugs and drapes
away from radiators, and never stack items
on top of these heat sources.
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Maintain your radiators’ efficiency by
vacuuming or brushing regularly to allow
maximum air movement through the fins or
castings. Fins are the thin aluminum plates
in some baseboard systems. They can be
easily straightened by hand.
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Place sheets of aluminum foil or foil-coated
bubble wrap behind your radiators to reflect
additional heat away from walls and into
your rooms.
“Bleeding” Hot Water
Radiators
During the summer, air can become
trapped in hot water heating systems,
blocking the flow of water and increasing your energy costs. To remove this
trapped air, radiators must be “bled”
once the boiler comes on in the fall.
First, check the water-level gauge on
your boiler to make sure that there is
enough water in the system. Then simply open each radiator screw – one at a
time – until only hot water flows from
the vent. Close the screw and check
for leaks. Be careful: water in these
systems is extremely hot and can
cause severe burns.
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Warm Floors = Warm Feet
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Building a new home or an addition? Turn your floors into radiators by
installing radiant hydronic heating. This type of heating system uses hot
water pipes installed in the floors. Heat then rises through the flooring to
heat your house – and keep your feet warm. With radiant floor heating,
you can set the thermostat several degrees lower. This is because the
entire surface of the floor radiates about the same amount of heat that
the human body does, making the occupant feel warm even though the
air temperature might be only 18°C (65°F).
Air-to-Air Heat Pumps
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To get the most savings from your heat pump,
leave your thermostat set to a temperature
that’s comfortable year-round – 20°C (68°F)
is recommended. Raising the temperature may
trigger the system’s electric backup heater,
which will reduce your energy savings.
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Check, clean and replace heat pump filters
and coils monthly or according to manufacturers’ instructions. Clean fans and lubricate
fan motors annually. Dirty filters, coils and
fans reduce airflow, use more energy and
can cause compressor damage.
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Protect outdoor parts of your heat pump from
high winds, which may cause defrosting
problems and reduce system efficiency. Your
heating pump manual or a qualified technician can help you do this properly.
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Inspect and vacuum the interior of accessible
ductwork regularly. Loose insulation and
dust buildup, for example, may block airflow.
Ensure that all dampers are returned to
their original position after vacuuming.
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Place outdoor heat pump parts away from the
drip-line of your house. This will prevent ice
and water damage to fans and motors.
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Be sure that vents and registers are not
blocked by furniture, carpets or other items
that can reduce airflow.
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Looking to Buy?
Check the EnerGuide ratings on new heat pumps; units with the highest
ratings are the most efficient. You can find the rating at the back of the
manufacturer’s brochure.
Select an outdoor unit that has a demand-defrost control. This will allow
you to cut down on the number of defrost cycles, which use more energy
and can shorten the life span of your heat pump.
Not sure what size your heat pump should be? Consult Determining the
Required Capacity of Residential Space Heating and Cooling Appliances
(CSA-F280-M90). This handy booklet from CSA International will help
you choose a unit that’s just right for your home. See the address and
phone number in “Information Resources.”
Fireplaces
WOOD STOVES
AND WOOD-BURNING
FIREPLACES
More than 3 million Canadian households burn
wood as a source of heat and enjoyment. If used
properly, wood energy is economical, renewable
and effective.
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Consider buying an energy-efficient woodstove,
fireplace or insert that is airtight. Not only are
they cleaner and safer, they’ll also save you money.
They use up to 50 percent less wood than conventional wood-burning appliances, which could
mean savings of hundreds of dollars each year.
Make sure that your stove, fireplace or insert
is the right size for your house and that it is
installed by a qualified professional in a location where the appliance can effectively heat
the space.
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Check for air leaks where chimneys and
walls meet (you may need to remove the trim).
Caulk these joints with flexible, heat-resistant
material.
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Winterize your fireplace. Patch cracks and gaps
in brickwork. Examine your damper by shining
a flashlight up the flue. Repair the damper seals
if they’re worn. Close the damper when your
fireplace is not in use.
A wood fire can be cosy, but breathing in the
smoke isn’t healthy. The best fire is a hot one
that creates almost no visible smoke outdoors
and no smell of smoke indoors. And don’t forget:
where there’s smoke, there’s pollution. Here are
some tips on how to make your fire burn cleanly.
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Install glass doors on your wood-burning
fireplace. When the fireplace is not in use
and these doors are closed, they stop warm
air from escaping your home and block cold
air from being drawn down the chimney.
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Whenever possible, keep the glass doors open
while the fire burns. This allows some radiant
heat to enter the room from the unit’s hot masonry. Be sure to keep the spark screen in place.
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Season your firewood properly. Cut, split and
stack wood where it will be sheltered from the
weather. Cover and store wood outside (keep
only a small amount of wood in your house).
Allow wood to dry fully – for at least six
months – before burning. Cracks in the ends
of wood indicate that it is properly seasoned.
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Split wood into pieces that are 10 to 15 cm
(4 to 6 in.) in diameter. The wood will burn
more cleanly with more surface area exposed to
the flame.
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Make sure that your fire is getting enough
fresh air to burn “hot and clean,” which
results in more complete combustion and less
smoke. Check that the air inlet is open wide
enough to keep the fire burning briskly.
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Don’t stuff too much wood inside the firebox
at once; instead, refuel more often with
smaller loads.
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If your gas fireplace will be located against
an exterior wall, make sure that a professional
installs an insulated outer casing first to help
reduce heat loss to the outside of your home.
These casings can be used only with inserts
and not with free-standing units.
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Keep the glass doors on your gas fireplace
clean – dirty doors block heat from escaping
the fireplace. Consult your owner’s manual to
learn which cleaner to use for the type of glass
installed in your fireplace doors.
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If possible, choose a ceramic glass front, which
resists shattering better and gives off heat more
efficiently.
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Shut off your gas fireplace pilot light during
summer months. If you’re uncomfortable with
relighting the pilot, ask your heating contractor
to show you how during the next servicing.
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For added comfort, install a fireplace thermostat to help you control room temperature.
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Don’t use your fireplace at all when the outside
temperature is below –7ºC (20ºF). The infiltration of cold air into your home through the
open flue more than offsets any heat gained.
GAS FIREPLACES
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✓ When choosing a gas fireplace, make sure that
the unit you purchase can be vented to the outdoors. This is especially important because units
that are not vented to the outdoors can pose
serious health hazards by emitting increased
levels of nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, carbon
monoxide and large amounts of water vapour.
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✓ It is important to know that some gas fireplaces are more energy efficient
than others. The most accurate measurement of energy efficiency for
vented gas fireplaces is based on CSA International’s P.4 rating.
✓ CSA International P.4 is the performance-testing method that is used to
measure annual gas fireplace efficiency. A good energy-efficient model
should have a P.4 rating of between 50 and 70 percent or even higher.
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Always burn:
✓ Clean, dry wood
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✓ Properly seasoned, split wood
✓ A mix of hardwood and softwood,
where possible, depending on
what is available in your region
Never burn:
✓ Wet or green wood
✓ Household garbage such
as plastic or cardboard
Keep it Clean
To reduce the chance of chimney fires,
clean the flue regularly. Simply remove
the flue cap and clean the interior of the
pipe with a chimney brush, available at
most hardware stores. The stiff bristles
remove creosote buildup and loosen
soot, which falls into your woodstove.
✓ Painted or stained wood
✓ Pressure-treated wood
✓ Particleboard or plywood
✓ Driftwood
✓ Glossy magazines
✓ Any materials prohibited
by local by-laws
These items may release toxic chemicals into the air and damage your
stove or fireplace – and your health!
✓ Choose a fireplace that has an
automatic starter or electronic
intermittent ignition. An alternative is to choose a unit in which
the pilot light can be shut down
when not in use.
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Stove Sizing: Bigger
Isn’t Better!
Before buying a stove or fireplace insert,
carefully consider the size you need.
Remember: a clean burn comes from a
hot fire. An oversized unit will create too
much heat for your space. As a result,
you’ll have to burn wood more slowly
and at lower temperatures. This increases
the amount of smoke and the buildup
of dangerous residues in your chimney.
✓ Look for direct-vent fireplaces
with features such as two-stage
pilot lights, which run a very
low flame when the fireplace
is turned off, and intermittent
electronic ignition systems, which
enable you to easily turn off and
relight pilot lights.
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Air Conditioning
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On the hottest summer days in Canada, a lot
of electricity is used to power home air conditioners. Luckily, you can keep your house cool
in many other ways that use less electricity,
save money and help protect the environment.
When it’s time to turn on your air conditioning,
remember that everything else you do to keep
your house cool will help – the less heat there
is in your house, the less energy your airconditioning system uses to cool the space.
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Install an automatic setback thermostat that
turns off your air conditioner at night.
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Use fans as your first line of defence against
summer heat. Ceiling fans, for instance, cost
about 5¢ an hour to operate – much less than
air conditioners.
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You can reduce air-conditioning energy use by
as much as 40 percent by shading your home’s
windows and walls. Plant trees and shrubs to
keep the day’s hottest sun off your house.
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Keep blinds and curtains closed during the
day to keep your home cool.
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ROOM AIR
CONDITIONERS
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A good air conditioner will cool and dehumidify a room in about 30 minutes, so use a
timer and leave the unit off during the day.
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Poorly mounted and sealed room airconditioning units allow cool air to escape
outside, which means that the air conditioner
must work harder and use more energy. Make
sure that your unit is properly installed. Seal
any gaps around the air conditioner with foam
insulation strips or removable caulking.
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Keep doors to air-conditioned rooms closed
as often as possible.
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Remove window air conditioners for the
winter. If they must stay in place, seal them
with caulking or tape and cover them with
an airtight, insulated jacket.
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If your room air conditioner is older and needs
repair, it’s likely to be very inefficient. You’re
better off buying a new energy-efficient room
model.
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The cost of new, energy-efficient room air conditioners may seem high, but they may actually save you money within a few months, especially if you’ve been using an older unit that’s
always on and barely able to cool your space.
Clean the air-conditioner filter every month.
A dirty air filter reduces airflow and may
damage the unit. Clean filters enable the unit
to cool down quickly and use less energy.
Opening windows costs nothing but saves a
lot of energy. Keep your windows open in the
evening and overnight to allow cooler air into
your home, and don’t forget to turn off your air
conditioner. Close the windows during the day
to keep the cool in and the heat out.
Bigger is not necessarily better. Oversized room
air conditioners use more energy and often
cool and dehumidify poorly. Measure your
room and the window in which you’ll mount
the unit to make sure you buy only what you
need. Put the money you save on a smaller air
conditioner toward a better model — perhaps
one with a programmable thermostat or timer.
You’ll use 3 to 5 percent more energy for each
degree your air conditioner is set below 24°C
(75°F), so set the thermostat of your room air
conditioner at 25°C (77°F) to provide the
most comfort at the least cost.
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CENTRAL AIR
CONDITIONERS
Ventilation
Buying
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As with room air conditioners, bigger central
air-conditioning units aren’t necessarily better.
Oversized air-conditioning systems use a lot
more energy but often don’t cool your home
any better than a properly sized system.
Measure the square footage of your house
carefully to get the system that’s right for you.
And be sure to have your system installed by
knowledgeable and qualified technicians.
DUCTWORK
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Keep furniture, rugs and drapes away from all
return-air grilles and hot air registers to allow
free movement of air.
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Install plastic deflectors on hot air floor vents
to direct heat away from cooler outside walls
and into main living areas.
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Prevent air leaks by covering ductwork joints
with mastic or aluminum-foil duct-sealing
material. Don’t use fabric duct tape, which
will dry out and crack over time. For major
work, get a professional to help you insulate
and repair all ducts.
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You can also seal joints on exposed ductwork
with fibreglass or mineral-wool insulation.
Never insulate heating ducts with foam plastic,
which may melt or cause fire.
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If your basement has been converted to a
living area, install supply and return registers
in the basement rooms.
Maintenance
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Service your central air-conditioning system at
least once a year. Coolant leaks are a particular problem, as they release greenhouse gas
emissions into the atmosphere and cause your
air-conditioning system to use more energy.
Close air vents in unused rooms.
Turn off all sources of heat whenever you can,
including lights and appliances, especially at
the hottest times of the day. Do your baking,
washing, drying and ironing early in the
morning or in the evening.
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Looking to Buy?
✓ ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioners
contain compressors that are more efficient,
usually operate more quietly and often have
energy-saving timers.
✓ ENERGY STAR qualified central air conditioners use
20 percent less electricity than conventional units.
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E XHAU ST FAN S
Be sure to keep your kitchen and bathroom
exhaust fans clean. Regularly wash or replace
any filters.
High cathedral ceilings can be beautiful, but
they tend to collect heat because hot air usually rises. Install a ceiling fan and push that
valuable warm air to the floor.
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Look for ENERGY STAR qualified ceiling fans.
If they have lights, use compact fluorescent
lights to further reduce electricity use and
heat buildup.
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Vents and air intakes are the points inside and
outside the house where stale air is vented
outdoors and outdoor air is drawn in.
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Always check that vents are kept clear of snow,
leaves and other garden debris to keep your
fans and ventilation systems running safely
and efficiently.
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Avoid storing garbage or idling your car (which
is very energy inefficient anyway!) beside or
near your home’s air ventilation intake.
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Ensure that all bathroom, kitchen and other
exhaust fans in the house are vented all the
way to the outside, not into the attic or crawl
spaces. Make sure that the places where the
exhaust columns exit through the roof or side
walls are properly caulked to prevent air leakage into the wall and ceiling cavity. Baths
and showers create a lot of warm, moist air.
Trapped in the attic, this air can cause moisture buildup, which will damage the attic’s
woodwork and insulation.
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Install a timer switch on your bathroom fan
so that it runs only as long as you need.
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C E I LI N G FAN S
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Ceiling fans use less electricity than air conditioners or furnaces. The trick is to get all these
units working together to keep your house
warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Most ceiling fans can be switched to change the
direction of the airflow. In the winter, let the
fan push warm air toward the floor where it
will cool and be drawn back to the furnace to
be reheated. In the summer, the fan can draw
air upward, cooling the room and ensuring
a constant airflow. This is especially good for
houses that have electric baseboard heaters.
WHOLE HOUSE
V E N T I L AT I O N S Y S T E M S
It’s important to properly ventilate your home in
order to keep air fresh and reduce moisture. If
condensation builds up on your windows, for
instance, chances are that your ventilation system
needs an upgrade. A heat recovery ventilation
system not only helps improve energy efficiency
but can also make for a healthier and more
comfortable indoor environment. A heating and
ventilation contractor can help you decide what’s
best for your home.
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HRV
✓ If your home has a whole house ventilation system, such as a heat
recovery ventilator (HRV) or energy recovery ventilator (ERV), it pays
to keep it running efficiently with regular servicing.
✓ Operating your HRV continuously even in the non-heating season
will keep your home cooler, quieter and cleaner. By removing some
of the heat from incoming air, most HRVs will reduce the load on the
air conditioner and save you money.
✓ Filters should be cleaned or replaced every one to three months.
Washable filters should be vacuumed and then washed with mild
soap and water. Most washable filters will last several years before
they need to be replaced.
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Part 2
Housing
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Thermostats
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Thermostats are wall-mounted, temperaturesensitive devices that control heating and
cooling equipment.
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Make sure that your thermostat is located on
a central interior wall in a main living area
and away from heat sources such as stoves
and fireplaces, appliances, bright lights, sunlight, heating vents and radiators. Thermostats
should never be installed near windows or
doors or in halls where drafts may affect their
ability to properly sense and control the temperature in your home.
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If your house’s temperature is 16°C (60°F)
and you want to raise it to 20°C (68°F),
turning the thermostat to 25°C (77°F) will not
heat your house any faster – but it will use
more energy.
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To work properly, your thermostat must be
kept clean and perfectly level; have it checked
seasonally when your furnace is serviced.
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In the winter, wear warm, loose clothing to
save energy and money. By wearing a sweater,
for instance, you could lower the thermostat
by 2°C (4°F) and save as much as 4 percent
on your fuel bill.
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Programmable Thermostats
Programmable thermostats can be
set to automatically adjust the temperature in your home day and
night. During the workweek, for
example, a programmable thermostat could be set to lower your
home’s temperature while you’re
out and raise it again just before
you come home. Remember not to
lower the temperature too much:
your energy savings will be lost
because the furnace will have to
work harder to raise the temperature back up. If you go out on an
evening when you’d normally be
home, simply over-ride the thermostat’s automatic setting and lower
the temperature manually.
Recommended Thermostat Settings
To save energy and money in the winter, set your thermostat to the
lowest temperature that’s comfortable for you. Remember: for every 1°C (2°F)
you lower the thermostat, you save 2 percent on your heating bill.
Activity
Recommended Thermostat Setting
Sitting, reading or watching TV
Working around the house
Sleeping
Out for the day or on vacation
21°C (70°F)
20°C (68°F)
18°C (64°F)
16°C (60°F)
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Humidity Control
Four people in a house produce about 10 kg
of moisture per day from cooking, washing,
respiration and perspiration.
In the Zone
“Zone heating” divides your home
into a number of areas, each with
its own thermostat. By controlling
temperatures throughout your
house, you’re better able to control
your heating bill. But remember:
doors that separate zones must be
kept closed.
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ENERGY STAR
If you’re installing a new thermostat
in your home, look for programmable
thermostats that meet ENERGY STAR
performance levels. These thermostats feature at least two programs
with four temperature settings each.
Used properly, these thermostats can
save you up to 30 percent on heating
and cooling bills.
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Moist indoor air is a common reason that
windows frost over in winter, which can lead
to mould buildup and damage to walls from
dripping water. This is bad for your house, causing
deterioration in the structure, and it’s bad for
your family’s health. It’s important to maintain
healthy indoor ventilation levels, ideally using
an energy-efficient heat recovery ventilator (HRV)
at all times — especially in winter.
Is your home humid? Install a dehumidistat,
which turns the furnace fan or ventilation system
on and off to help control moisture in the air.
Humid air feels cooler in winter and hotter in
summer, so correct humidity levels will improve
your family’s comfort.
Moisture levels are always much higher in newly
built houses. A newly built house should be overventilated for the first year to allow it to “dry out.”
DEHUMIDIFIERS
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Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air.
They’re especially handy in basements, which
are often uncomfortable due to dampness. The
dampness could be due to poor ventilation or
to basements that need to be better insulated.
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You can buy dehumidifiers that can be used
to treat individual rooms or, if you’ve got a
forced-air heating and cooling system, to
remove moisture from your entire house. If
your house is new and well insulated, an airto-air heat exchanger might work better than
a dehumidifier to improve ventilation.
Keep it Clean!
Because of the amount of air and moisture that flows through your dehumidifier, bacteria can build up quickly. Make
sure that you regularly clean your unit,
especially its filter and the bucket where
the water accumulates. Brush the coils
with a mixture of water and bleach, and
rinse the filter under hot soapy water.
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Whatever you choose, make sure that the system
is the right size for the space you need to dehumidify. Dehumidifiers use a lot of energy to take
moisture out of the air. Energy use is based on
the number of watts the unit uses to take a litre
of moisture out of the air. To find the unit that
does this most efficiently, look for the ones
that meet ENERGY STAR guidelines. Better still,
visit Canada’s ENERGY STAR Web site at
oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energystar to choose the
best model and size for your needs.
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Thanks to your home’s heating and airconditioning system, temperatures inside
your house throughout the year are often
very different from those outside. A good
insulating system will keep it that way,
blocking heat from getting out in the winter
and getting in during the summer.
Is your house well insulated? To find out,
check your roof during the winter. If snow
regularly melts — even on cloudy days —
chances are that your attic is poorly insulated
and heat is escaping. Check around the foundation as well. If snow has disappeared from
the sides of the house, it’s probably because
heat escapes from your basement walls.
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EnerGuide for Houses
An EnerGuide for Houses advisor
will assess the state of your home’s
insulation and recommend upgrades
during the visit. He or she will also
recommend where more complex
insulation jobs that require the
services of a qualified contractor
are worth the investment. Your
EnerGuide for Houses advisor will
also recommend the best types of
insulation to use in each application.
On average, a homeowner who has
an EnerGuide for Houses energy
assessment performed and implements the recommended improvements saves 20 percent on heating
bills (and up to 1.4 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year)!
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Installing or adding insulation is neither difficult nor particularly expensive. However,
there are safety issues in proper installation.
It is always recommended that you get professional advice before insulating an attic or
roof space. Insulating materials are rated by
R-value, which measures a material’s ability
to block heat. The higher the rating, the less
heat can pass through the insulation.
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Check the insulation throughout your
home — in the attic, ceilings, exterior and
basement walls, floors and crawl spaces.
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Where possible, when renovating, add insulation to the levels and in the manner indicated in your local building codes. You can
get this information from your local municipal office.
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An EnerGuide for Houses recommendation,
which typically improves on local code minimums, will offer even better guidance.
You can learn more about the
EnerGuide for Houses service
by visiting the Web site at
oee.nrcan.gc.ca/houses.
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Cold Feet?
Are your floors cold? Don’t turn
up the heat – throw down a rug. Rugs
not only help to insulate your floors,
especially above unheated spaces
such as garages and crawl spaces, but
also insulate against noise, helping to
make your house quieter.
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Go Green!
Want to save energy and help the environment? Then spend a little time on your
own environment. Plant evergreen trees and thick hedges to block winter winds
from blowing against your home. For most Canadian homes, the best place to
plant is on the northwest side.
Plant deciduous trees near your house on the east and west sides of your property.
They will help block the summer sun. After their leaves have fallen in the autumn,
the sun will shine through to help warm your home in the winter.
AT T I C S
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Proper attic ventilation serves two important
purposes in your home: relieving heat
buildup and removing unwanted moisture.
During the summer months, proper attic
ventilation expels hot, stale air, making it
easier to cool your home.
Moisture can cause serious damage to wood
framing and has a big impact on the effectiveness of your attic insulation. That’s why it’s
important to make sure that all exhaust fans
in the house — in the bathroom and kitchen,
for instance — are vented all the way to the
outside, not into the attic or crawl spaces.
AT TA C H E D G A R A G E S
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Building a new home? If possible, design
it so that the garage is on the north side to
help shield your house against winter wind.
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If you have a room over your garage, make
sure that the garage ceiling is properly
insulated.
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Any doors leading from the garage into the
house should be fully insulated and weatherstripped.
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Make sure that your garage door fits tightly
to the outside frame and to the ground. To
check the seal, turn on the garage’s inside
light, then close the door at night and inspect
it from the outside. If you can see light
around the edges, you’ve got leaks.
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Keep the garage door tightly closed as much
as possible to retain warmer air against the
garage-side wall of the house. It will act as a
buffer against the colder outdoor air beyond.
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Keep the door between the garage and the
house closed and properly weatherstripped
to prevent exhaust fumes entering the home
from vehicles that are exhausting inside
the garage. If you have an attached garage,
install a carbon monoxide detector inside
the main living space of your house.
BASEMENTS
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Your basement’s concrete floors will be
much more comfortable if they’re covered
with area rugs or carpets. Rugs help insulate and save energy.
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Install carpets on concrete basement floors
only when you’re sure that the floor is fully
waterproofed. Mould and insect infestation
problems can occur if the carpet becomes
damp.
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Install doors that are fully insulated, not
hollow, on all entrances to cold storage
rooms and uninsulated basements and
garages.
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A blower door test, which is part of the
EnerGuide for Houses evaluation service,
is the most thorough and complete way to
identify all of your home’s air leaks. Visit
the Web site at oee.nrcan.gc.ca/housesmaisons/english/e31.cfm to read about
a blower door test.
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The outside doors of your house must fit
snugly to prevent drafts and heat loss. Use
weatherstripping around all exterior door
frames. Felt and foam weatherstripping are
inexpensive, but rubber is more effective
and durable.
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Caulking comes in many types and consistencies from a flexible gel to a spray foam.
Check the labels to make sure that you’ve
got the right material for your job. NRCan’s
fact sheets Air Leakage Control and
Improving Window Energy Efficiency
explain this in more detail.
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Make sure that all surfaces to be caulked
are clean and dry.
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Seal all cracks, holes and gaps outside and
inside your house. This includes around
windows; wire and pipe entrances through
exterior walls; around bathroom, dryer and
kitchen vents; baseboards; interior and
exterior light fixtures; electrical outlets; and
plumbing holes in interior walls. Pay special
attention to areas under sinks and behind
bathtubs, plumbing and wiring penetrations
into the attic and attic hatches.
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Common leakage areas that are often
missed are the joints between the basement
foundation and the main floor, called
the rim joist.
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Spider webs are a good indicator that there
is air leakage. Spiders build their webs in
the path of airflow to catch insects.
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Wherever possible, caulk exterior cracks and
holes from the outside as well as the inside
to ensure that the wall structure is protected
from wind, rain, snow, insects and dust.
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Weatherstripping
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When cold air leaks into your house,
some rooms — particularly those that face
the wind — become drafty, uncomfortable
and difficult to heat. These drafts or air leaks
account for between 25 and 40 percent of
heat loss in older homes. That means
hundreds of dollars a year on the average
heating bill for wasted energy.
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What is the difference between caulking
and weatherstripping? Caulking is used to
seal gaps and leaks in fixed joints such as
around window frames where they meet the
wall of the house or where electrical wires
or exterior taps go through exterior walls.
Weatherstripping is used where a joint is
moving or flexible, such as where a moving
window sash meets the sill.
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There is an easy way to detect air leaks:
make your own draft detector using incense
sticks, which create a white smoke when lit.
Hold two or three together to create more
smoke and make it easier to detect leaks. On
a windy day, hold your draft detector near
window and door frames, electrical outlets,
baseboards and other potential leak locations.
Strong drafts will blow the smoke away from
the leak and cause the tips of the incense
sticks to glow. Small drafts will gently blow
the smoke or draw it toward the location of
the leak. All leaks should be sealed.
Caulking is applied best in warm weather,
when the material is flexible and can fully
penetrate holes and cracks.
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Exterior caulking is made from materials
that are different from interior caulking, and
sometimes the fumes are unpleasant or even
dangerous. Do not use exterior caulking for
work inside a home.
Some caulking can be painted and some
cannot. As well, some are mould-resistant
for use in damp or wet areas. When buying
caulk, be sure to tell the salesperson how
you intend to use the product.
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When sealing around ventilation and combustion air ducts, be careful not to block air
circulation by overfilling with caulking. Never
insulate or seal draft hoods, wind caps and
exhaust vents on natural gas appliances.
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Be sure to use compounds around chimneys
and exhaust fans that have been approved
for the specific use you are intending.
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Some types of recessed lighting fixtures can
present a fire hazard if sealed. If you are not
certain what kind you have, ask a professional. Unsealed fixtures can be replaced
with airtight ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures.
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Seal ductwork joints with a water-based
duct mastic sealant or approved foil duct
tape. Do not use the commonly available
fabric-based duct tape.
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You can reduce heat lost through your
electrical outlets, light switches and lightingfixture receptacles by installing foam gaskets
behind these outlets and switches. Switch
off the electric power before doing any of
this work.
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Consider replacing leaky outlets with airtight electrical outlets, available from any
good hardware store.
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Seal unused electrical wall outlets with
plastic security caps to reduce heat loss.
WINDOWS
Long winters and hot, humid summers mean that
a lot of heat moves through windows in many
Canadian homes. In recent years, the quality of
new windows has improved dramatically thanks
to advances in technology and design. Modern
windows are more energy efficient and help to
reduce your heating and cooling bills. These
windows also reduce condensation buildup and
improve the quality and quantity of light that
enters your house.
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In the winter, leave your curtains open to
allow the sun’s rays to heat rooms during
the day. It is also important to allow warm
air to move around the windows inside the
house. This will stop moisture from building
up and freezing on your windows. At night,
close your curtains to help reduce the
amount of heat that escapes through the
windows. Close your drapes on summer days
to help keep the inside of your home cool.
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Heat-shrink film kits can help cut the
amount of energy lost through your windows. These kits include sheets of clear
plastic that stretch across the inside of your
window frames and double-sided tape that
holds them in place. When heated with a
hair dryer, the plastic shrinks and makes
an airtight seal around windows.
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Clear plastic film with spline-and-channel
kits include a sheet of heavy-duty plastic
film, a plastic channel that attaches semipermanently to the window surround and
a plastic spline that pushes into the channel
to hold the film in place. These are a removable and reusable version of heat-shrink
film kits that should last for several years.
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Make sure that your home is not losing heat
around the outside of your windows where
they join the exterior wall. Caulk the edges
of the frames, but be careful not to plug
drain holes on the bottom sills or in bottom
tracks of sliding doors.
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It’s worth considering using a new kind of
clear removable caulking on operable windows for the winter months. It simply peels
off without harming paintwork when you
want to open the windows again in spring.
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Check weatherstripping on the movable
parts of your windows and replace any
that has become damaged or worn.
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Heat is lost through even the smallest
cracks in a window, so be sure to repair
all broken windowpanes.
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Replace double- or triple-pane windows that
have become foggy between panes. These
windows have lost their capacity to insulate.
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Check your window locks to make sure they
are secure and keep warmth in.
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If you have single-pane windows, add
storm windows to cut heat loss by as much
as 50 percent. Better still, replace singlepane windows with energy-efficient doublepaned windows with inert argon gas fill,
warm-edge spacers and a low-emissivity
(low-E) coating.
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If you have central air conditioning and
keep some windows closed year-round,
leave storm windows on these as well. The
air space between the two windows provides
extra insulation and helps keep the house
at the temperature you want.
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If you are installing new energy-efficient
windows in a renovation, be sure to ask
that they be “sprayed in foam” for extra
energy efficiency.
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An industry-led program called
WindowWise provides guaranteed, qualityassured, highly energy-efficient window
installations. For more information on this
program and local WindowWise contacts,
visit the Web site at www.sawdac.com.
Looking to Buy?
If you’re shopping for new windows, you’ll find that many are gas-filled for added
energy efficiency. Argon and krypton are two of the most common and effective
gases. What’s most important is the size of the airspace between the panes of
glass in these windows.
✓ Argon-filled windows need about 13 mm ( in.) between window panes.
The panes in krypton-filled windows must be about 10 mm ( in.) apart.
✓ Regardless of gas or design, energy savings stop at 20 mm ( in.). When
window panes are separated by more than this amount, their insulation
value starts to drop.
✓ Also look for warm-edge spacers as a part of the manufactured window.
These low-conductivity components are another valuable factor in an
energy-efficient window.
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Choose Low-E!
Your windows can do more than let heat into your home – they can also keep the
heat from escaping. Low-emissivity (low-E) windows have a special coating that
saves energy. This coating helps cut heat loss by reflecting warmth back into your
home. The insulation of the space around the windows should also be appropriate.
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Can you feel air blowing in along the edges
of your exterior doors? Try attaching brush
or PVC weatherstripping. It’s easy to install
and will help cut energy losses.
159
Does your home have a sliding glass door?
Make sure to keep its track clean. A dirty
track can ruin the door’s seal and create
gaps through which heat will pass.
160
If you don’t use your patio door in the winter, cover the inside with heat-shrink plastic
(see tips 144 and 145). Removable sealants
are also available. These materials are
applied like caulking but can be easily
stripped off in the spring.
161
A lot of heat is lost through mail slots in
doors. Spring-loaded flaps and nylon seals
will help keep these slots closed tightly.
162
Heat can also be lost through keyholes
in older doors. Keyholes can be sealed
with covers.
163
Plastic and rubber weatherstripping
should bend easily and spring back
to shape. Replace weatherstripping
whenever it shows signs of wear.
H
O
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I
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DOORS
165
164
Cold Clue
Your home’s exterior doors
should be insulated, not hollow.
To check if a door provides good
insulation, place your hand
against it from the inside. If
it feels cooler than the inside
walls, it might be time to install
a door that’s better insulated.
Put a Sock in It!
A door sock is a long, snake-like tube of material stuffed with sand
or birdseed. It fits snugly against the bottom of an exterior door to
stop drafts by sealing gaps that are too big to close with weatherstripping. When not in use, simply hang the sock on the doorknob.
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Part 3
Water Use
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Water Use
W
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We live in a country that is rich in fresh water,
so it’s understandable that Canadians tend to
take this resource for granted. Water is as close
as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms in
most Canadian homes. As soon as we turn on
the tap, there it is, flowing freely. But it’s not
free — especially hot water. In fact, 15 percent of
a typical energy bill goes to heating water. While
you can’t do without water, there are ways you
can use less and save money. Also, leaks can be
costly. A leak of only one drop per second wastes
about 9000 litres of water per year, or the equivalent of 16 baths every month. Most leaks are
easy to find and fix at very little cost.
In the Bathroom
TOILETS
170
Installing a water-saver flush kit in your toilet
will save thousands of litres of water per year.
You can also replace large-volume toilets with
units that use only six litres per flush — you’ll
reduce water usage by 70 percent or more.
171
172
Using the toilet as a wastebasket or flushing
it unnecessarily wastes a lot of water.
173
If your toilet leaks, make sure that the flush
valve or flapper valve is sitting properly in
the valve seat. Also check that the flush
valve lift wires are not bent or misaligned
and that the valve seat is not corroded. All
of these can be fixed easily and inexpensively. If, however, the leak is around the base
of the toilet where it sits on the floor, call
a professional.
174
Install a water-saving device inside the tank
at the back of the toilet. The most common
water retention device available is the toilet
dam. When installed properly it will save
about 5 litres per flush.
SHOWERS
166
32
Energy-efficient shower heads conserve
energy without changing water pressure.
Low-flow shower heads use up to 60 percent
less water than standard fixtures. Flow
restrictors, on the other hand, reduce water
use from 19 to 11 litres per minute and can
save up to 15 percent on your hot water bill.
167
Consider a low-flow shower head with a
shut-off button. The advantage of the shut-off
button is that it allows you to be very water
efficient – you can interrupt the flow while
you lather up or shampoo and then resume
at the same flow rate and temperature.
168
In the bathroom, a flow rate of 2 litres per
minute should significantly reduce water consumption but also let you enjoy your shower.
169
Take quick showers instead of baths; you’ll use
up to 50 percent less hot water. A five-minute
shower, for instance, uses less than 38 litres of
water, compared with 57 to 95 litres for a bath.
A toilet that continues to run after flushing,
if the leak is large enough, can waste up to
200 000 litres of water in a single year! To
find out if your toilet is leaking, put two or
three drops of food colouring in the tank at
the back of the toilet. Wait a few minutes.
If the colour shows up in the bowl, there’s
a leak.
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A plastic bag or bottle filled with water
and suspended inside the toilet tank could
be a water displacement device that’s easy
to find and install. However, don’t use a
brick! It can disintegrate inside the toilet
tank, leading to excessive leakage at the
flapper valve and may even be heavy
enough to crack the tank.
176
Monitor the performance of the devices
periodically. If you discover that it becomes
necessary to double flush the toilet, something needs to be adjusted or replaced.
Remember: double flushing defeats the
purpose of your water conservation efforts
and is costing you money.
177
If you decide that it’s time for a toilet
replacement in your home or business, you
are well on your way to significant water
savings that you can bank on over the life
of the toilet. Replacing an 18-litre-per-flush
toilet with an ultra-low-volume (ULV) 6-litre
flush model represents a 66 percent savings
in water flushed and will cut indoor water
use by about 30 percent.
178
179
Remember, the ULV toilet not only uses less
water, it produces less wastewater. If your
municipality applies a sewer surcharge on
your water bill, the investment in the better
toilet could translate into a 50 percent
reduction in your combined water/sewer
bill. If your home uses a private well and
septic system, you can significantly reduce
the load on your tile drain field while
extending its useful life.
If you wash your dishes by hand, you use
more water and energy than if you use an
automatic dishwasher.
182
Fix leaking faucets as soon as possible.
A hot water faucet that leaks one drip per
second will waste 9000 litres per year.
That’s enough water for 160 full cycles
on an automatic dishwasher.
183
Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting your tap run to
get cold water when you want a drink.
(Rinse the bottle every few days.)
Outdoor Water
Consumption
184
If you use water provided by your municipality, the water is usually pumped from a
source and treated with chemicals before you
use it. Then it is treated again before it is put
back into the environment. All this movement and treatment of water takes energy,
and producing this energy contributes to
greenhouse gas emissions. The use of
electricity or natural gas for your hot water
heater further adds to greenhouse gas
emissions. So, the less water used, the
fewer emissions produced.
185
More than 50 percent of the water applied
to lawns and gardens is lost due to evaporation or to run-off because of overwatering.
Find out how much water your lawn really
needs. As a general rule, most lawns and
gardens require little more than 2 to 3 cm
(1 in.) of water per week.
If you run the tap while shaving, money
is going down the drain along with your
whiskers. Partially fill the basin with hot
water — you’ll save a lot of hot water.
In the Kitchen
180
181
Rinsing dishes under the tap also wastes
a lot of water. Rinse your dishes in a large
bowl of water, or partially fill one side of
a double sink. Here’s another approach:
slowly pour a bowl of water over dishes
after putting them in the drainer.
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186
187
188
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To reduce losses due to evaporation, water
early in the morning (after the dew has dried).
190
Ideally, sprinklers should be suited to the
size and shape of the lawn. That way, you
avoid watering driveways and sidewalks.
Sprinklers that lay water down in a flat
pattern are better than oscillating sprinklers,
which lose as much as 50 percent of what
they disperse through evaporation.
The most significant savings come from a
reduction in lawn area and switching from
exotic plant forms to native species that
require less water. In general, lawn areas
should not exceed what is useful for play and
social activities and should be limited to the
spaces where the family spends its time.
191
When washing a car, fill a bucket with
water and use a sponge. This can save
about 300 litres of water.
Installing timers on outdoor taps can be
a wise investment.
The water you use to water your lawn
doesn’t have to come out of a tap. A cistern,
which captures and stores rainwater, can be
used as a source of irrigation water. A rain
barrel can adequately fulfil this function.
192
Consider a low-maintenance landscape – one that requires little
more water than nature provides.
Often called xeriscaping, the
principles of a low-maintenance
landscape are as follows:
✓ a reduced amount of lawn
✓ proper plan selection that
makes use of native grasses,
shrubs and trees
✓ the use of rain barrels/roof
drainage
✓ mulching to reduce evaporative
losses around shrubs and trees
✓ a proper irrigation system
✓ planned maintenance
34
Hot Water Heaters
193
Examine your water heater – if its surface is
hot or even warm, some of the energy used to
heat the water is being wasted. Wrap the heater
in an insulating blanket. Be sure to check your
user’s manual and labels on the tank first.
194
Some new water heaters have insulation
and are highly energy efficient. Adding a
blanket may not make much difference.
195
Shopping for a new water heater? Look
for a high-efficiency unit. Some new models
heat water only when you need it rather
than storing hot water in a tank.
196
When installing a new hot water tank or
designing a new home make sure that you
place the unit as close as possible to the
kitchen, laundry and bathrooms. Heat is lost
in long pipe runs. For instance, reducing a
hot water pipe from 10 to 3 metres will save
enough energy in one month to heat water
for 10 showers. Similarly, thin pipes are
more energy efficient than thicker pipes;
larger amounts of hot water are trapped
in thicker pipes, and more heat is lost.
197
To help reduce heat loss, always insulate
hot water pipes, especially where they run
through unheated areas such as basements
and crawl spaces. Insulate the first three
metres on cold water pipes and the first
two metres on hot water pipes running to
and from tanks. This can save you about
2 percent on your heating bill and can reduce
pipe-sweating problems in the summer. Do
not place any pipe-wrap insulation within
15 cm of exhaust vents at the top of water
heaters, and never insulate plastic pipes.
198
Many water heating tank manufacturers
pre-set the temperature of the tank to 60°C
(140°F). You can lower the thermostat to as
low as 55°C (130°F) to save energy. Do not
set it any lower, as this would risk the
growth of disease-carrying bacteria such
as legionella.
If you are concerned about the possibility of
scalding at 55°C, a plumber can install a
tempering valve that reduces the delivered
water temperature, while maintaining a safe
temperature in your tank. Tempering valves
can also be installed on individual taps
where the risk is greatest to children, the
infirm or elderly. A professional installer
will be able to provide you with specific
details about the best way to do this in
your home.
Note: Some older dishwashers need to have
the water at 60°C (140°F) in order to work
properly. If your dishwasher doesn't have an
element to boost the temperature, you may
have to set the thermostat at 60°C. If you
do, set the thermostat exactly at 60°C.
Temperatures higher than this can shorten
the life of glass-lined water heaters.
35
R
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199
Turn down your water-heater thermostat to
a minimum setting when you plan to be
away for extended periods of time.
200
W
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Twice a year, or monthly if you live in an
area that has heavy mineral deposits in the
water, empty a bucket of water from your
hot water heater. The drain cock is usually
found at the bottom of the unit. Be careful:
the water in the tank is especially hot. If you
can, drain the tank when the water is cold.
36
201
Never store anything on top of natural gas
water heaters. Make sure that combustion
air openings at the bottom of these tanks —
and openings below the draft diverters at
flue ducts on top — are always kept
unblocked.
202
For additional energy-saving tips, read
the user’s manual for your home’s hot
water heater.
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Part 4
Major
Appliances
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Major Appliances
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When you’re shopping for new major appliances, remember that these items really have two price
tags: the purchase price and the operating price. Although some energy-efficient appliances may cost
more to buy, they’ll save you money on your monthly utility bill. Over the life of a good appliance,
which might be 10 to 15 years, the savings will more than cover the higher purchase price.
M
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203
Appliance Recycling
Is it time to say goodbye to your old refrigerator/freezer, stove, washing machine
or dryer? Appliance-recycling programs are available in many Canadian communities and through provincial utilities. Old appliances are collected for proper
disposal. CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons, are removed if necessary. CFCs are the
gases that cool refrigerators and freezers. If not recovered properly, CFCs escape
and damage the atmosphere’s ozone layer. Contact your city or municipality to
find out how to dispose of your old appliances safely.
Refrigerators
204
Accounting for up to 11 percent of your
household’s total energy use, your refrigerator
can have a major impact on your energy bill.
205
Fortunately, today’s refrigerators are much
better energy performers than older models
because they have to meet tougher Government
of Canada regulations. Superior refrigerator
design, more efficient compressors and better
insulation and door seals have contributed to
improved energy efficiency.
206
207
38
Make sure that your refrigerator is kept
away from all sources of heat, including
direct sunlight, furnace vents, radiators and
appliances such as the oven, cooking range
and dishwasher.
Refrigerator motors and compressors generate
heat, so allow enough space for continuous
airflow around your refrigerator. If the heat
can’t escape, the refrigerator’s cooling system
will work harder and use more energy.
208
Many Canadians keep a second refrigerator
in the basement or garage to hold extra food
and drinks. Why not just buy a larger and
more energy-efficient refrigerator instead?
That way you’ll save on energy and maintenance costs by running one unit rather than
two. If you must keep a second refrigerator,
you can save up to 20 percent on its energy
cost by topping up the unit’s coolant.
209
If you must keep a spare refrigerator or freezer
in your garage, make sure that the space is
well ventilated in summer. A hot garage will
make your refrigerator use much more energy.
(Note: Space that’s too cold may affect the viscosity of the oil in the unit and wear it down.)
210
211
212
Keep spare refrigerators and freezers plugged
in only if absolutely necessary.
A full refrigerator is a fine thing, but be sure
to allow adequate air circulation inside.
Keep your refrigerator’s temperature between
1.7°C and 3.3°C (35°–38°F). The freezer
compartment should be kept at –18°C (0°F)
for maximum efficiency and food safety.
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213
Think about what you need before you open
your refrigerator. You’ll reduce the number
of times you open the refrigerator door and
the amount of time the door remains open.
214
Allow hot and warm foods to cool and
cover them well before putting them in your
refrigerator. You’ll use less energy and
reduce condensation.
215
Frozen foods should be allowed to defrost
in the refrigerator; the cool air from the
packages will help maintain coolness.
216
Make sure that your refrigerator’s rubber
door seals are clean and tight. They should
hold a slip of paper snugly. If paper slips
out easily, replace the door seals. Here’s
another way to check the seals: when it’s
dark, place a lit flashlight inside the
refrigerator and close the door. If you can
see light around the door, the seals need
to be replaced. Use the flashlight to check
on freezers and ovens as well.
217
When dust and pet hair build up on your
refrigerator’s condenser coils, the motor
works harder and uses more electricity.
Clean the coils regularly to make sure
that air can circulate freely.
218
For manual defrost units, maintaining an
accumulation of ice that is 0.6 cm ( in.)
thick will contribute to cooling and permit
your refrigerator’s freezer to run efficiently.
Too much ice, however, reduces the cooling
power by acting as unwanted insulation.
Defrost your freezer compartment regularly.
219
Manual-defrost refrigerators are generally
more energy efficient than frost-free models,
requiring fewer cooling and heating parts.
However, to make the most of the energy
savings, manual-defrost refrigerators must
be properly maintained according to manufacturers’ instructions.
220
Read your refrigerator’s user’s manual to
make sure that you’re taking full advantage
of the energy-saving features of your unit.
EnerGuide
221
Consumers have never before enjoyed such a range of
choice in refrigerators. But the choices can be confusing.
Refer to the EnerGuide label and the EnerGuide Appliance
Directory (available on-line at oee.nrcan.gc.ca/appliances)
to compare the energy consumption of all types and sizes
of new refrigerators. The EnerGuide label shows energy
consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. The lower
the number, the more energy efficient the appliance.
39
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Shopping for a new refrigerator?
J
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If you’re shopping for a new refrigerator, consider buying an energy-efficient one.
On average, it uses at least 36 percent less energy than models made 10 years ago.
M
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ENERGY STAR Facts
✓ ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators include frost-free,
top-mounted, bottom-mounted and side-by-side units.
✓ If your refrigerator is at least 10 years old, it uses
as much electricity as two ENERGY STAR qualified
refrigerators.
✓ ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators use at least 10 percent less electricity than those that meet Canada’s
minimum energy-performance standards.
✓ A new ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator uses less than
one third the electricity of a refrigerator built in 1984.
That will save you more than $80 per year.
224
Refrigerator Facts
The humming sound coming from your refrigerator is the compressor. If your
refrigerator is new, you may have noticed that the compressor seems to run
longer than the one in your old refrigerator, which stopped and started more
often. Today, more efficient compressors run more efficiently when running
at their steady state, meaning that there are fewer temperature swings, which
tend to increase energy usage in older models.
Longer running cycles maintain a more stable inside temperature and
lower your operating costs.
40
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Freezers
225
As with your refrigerator, test the seals of
your freezer door by closing it on a sheet of
paper. Replace the seals if the paper slides
out easily (see tip 216).
226
227
228
229
Fully defrost and clean the inside of your
freezer at least once a year.
Vacuum dust from the back and underside
of your freezer regularly.
Don’t place warm food or pots in the freezer.
Place the freezer away from all sources of
heat. Also make sure that your freezer is at
least 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3 in.) from the wall so
that air can move freely around the unit.
231
230
A Chilling Thought
The ideal temperature for freezers
is –18°C (0°F). For each degree
below this temperature, the freezer
will use almost 2 percent more
energy. At –20°C (–4°F), for example, the freezer will be using 4 percent more energy than it needs, and
that will cost you money. Install a
freezer thermometer inside the
freezer to gauge temperature.
Looking to Buy?
✓ If you’re shopping for a new freezer,
consider a new energy-efficient
model. Freezers made in 2002 use
less than half the electricity consumed
by those made 10 years earlier.
✓ Chest freezers are generally more
energy efficient than upright models.
That’s because lifting the door on
a chest unit releases less of the
freezer’s cold air. Open the door
on an upright freezer, however,
and the cold air flows down and out.
✓ Check the EnerGuide label for the
lowest kWh consumption per year.
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Cooking Stoves
238
When cooking with gas, make sure that the
flame heats only the bottom of the pot. It’s
not only dangerous for the flame to reach the
side of the pot, it’s also a waste of energy.
239
Read your user’s manual to make sure that
you’re using your appliance properly.
A
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Smart cooks not only save energy by cooking
more efficiently, they also spend less time in the
kitchen. Here’s some helpful advice for the chefs
in your home.
232
Match your pot to the size of the cooking
element. The base of the pot should just
cover an electric cooking ring. If the pot is
too large for the element, more energy will
be required to heat the pot. If the pot is too
small, energy is wasted.
233
Make sure that the bottoms of your pots and
pans are smooth and flat. Food will cook
faster and you’ll use less energy when the
pots make full contact with the cooking
element.
234
Make sure that lids fit tightly on pots and,
when possible, keep lids on when cooking.
This traps heat in the pots and lets you lower
the temperature of the cooking element. Not
only will you use up to 20 percent less energy, your food will also cook more quickly
and evenly.
M
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COOKTOPS
235
42
Use minimum heat. Once water is boiling,
for instance, turn the heat down to the lowest
setting that will maintain boiling. A higher
setting will not cook your food any faster.
236
Turn off the heat two or three minutes
before the end of the proper cooking time.
The element will stay hot, food will continue
to cook — and you’ll save money!
237
Keep drip pans under the cooking elements
clean. Don’t line the drip pans with aluminum foil – this may reflect heat away
from the pot and damage the elements.
OVENS
240
Preheated ovens are required mostly
when baking bread and pastry; for other
foods, preheating is not always necessary.
Remember: every 10 minutes of preheating
uses 0.06 kWh. That adds up to a lot of
energy over time.
241
Make sure that the oven door seal is tight
(see tip 216).
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242
No peeking! Every time you open the oven
door, at least 20 percent of the heat is lost.
Check food through the oven door window
instead.
243
Turn off the oven 10 minutes before your
baking is done. The heat in the oven will
finish cooking the food.
244
If possible, use your cooktop, toaster oven or
microwave oven to reheat foods. These appliances use less energy than standard ovens.
245
Over time, food drippings and spills may
build up in your oven. Self-cleaning ovens
remove these buildups by baking them off at
very high temperatures. To use less energy,
run the self-cleaning cycle when the oven is
still hot, right after you’ve finished cooking.
246
Looking to Buy an Oven?
✓ You’ll spend a little more to buy a
self-cleaning oven, but you’ll also save
money over the life of the appliance.
That’s because self-cleaning ovens are
usually better insulated than standard
ovens. As a result, every time you cook
you lose less heat, use less energy and
save money. Check the EnerGuide label.
✓ Convection ovens contain fans that
keep heat moving throughout the cooking space. Not only do these ovens
cook more evenly, they also cook faster.
That way you use less energy and have
more time to enjoy the results!
Dishwashers
247
Regularly clean the filter at the bottom
of your dishwasher to keep the machine
running efficiently.
248
Run your dishwasher only when full, and
use the setting that offers the best wash in
the least amount of time. Check your dishwasher’s manual for the settings that work
best for you.
249
When you use your dishwasher’s drying
cycle, an electric element heats the interior
of the unit and evaporates all the water. To
save energy, select the dishwasher’s no-heat
drying cycle (also called air drying).
250
Some people rinse their dishes in the sink
before putting them in the dishwasher.
Don’t bother – you’ll save more water and
energy by scraping all excess food off plates
and cutlery. Your dishwasher will do the rest.
251
Looking to Buy?
✓ Today’s dishwashers are about
95 percent more energy efficient
than those built in the early 1970s,
so replacing your old dishwasher may
save you a lot of money and water
over the life of the appliance.
✓ Most new dishwashers offer energysaving features, such as short, light
or economy cycles. These cycles clean
your dishes in one detergent wash
followed by two or three rinses.
You’re also given the option of heat
or no-heat drying.
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EnerGuide
✓ When shopping for a new dishwasher, consult the
EnerGuide label. It shows you how much electricity
the dishwasher uses each year, based on 268 normal
wash cycles per year.
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✓ Lower EnerGuide ratings mean that the unit uses
water more efficiently because at least 80 percent
of the rating takes into account the energy used by
a storage water heater to heat the water used by
the appliance.
253
254
44
ENERGY STAR
Dishwashers that meet ENERGY STAR performance levels are
at least 25 percent more energy efficient than comparable
dishwashers. ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers save
energy and water by using improved washing technology
and better rinsing systems. Some of these models feature
built-in electric water heaters that can save you up to
10 percent on energy costs.
New Energy-Saving Technology
How dirty are your dishes? Some new dishwashers can
tell. They can figure out exactly how much water will be
required to clean your dishes efficiently, so there is no
wasted energy and no wasted water. Such appliances
have sensors that scan the amount of food left on dishes
and set the water usage accordingly.
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Clothes Washers
255
Studies show that clothes rinsed in cold
water come out just as clean as those rinsed
in warm water. Rinse in cold water and you’ll
save money on your water-heating bill. To
save even more, wash in warm water rather
than hot — you’ll use 50 percent less energy,
and your clothes will come out better rinsed
and less wrinkled.
256
If you have a load of clothes that are extra
dirty, use your washing machine’s pre-soak
cycle instead of washing your clothes twice.
257
Clothes washers are most energy efficient
when they’re fully loaded. That’s why it’s
important to buy a machine that matches
your family’s needs.
258
If your machine has a water-level selector,
make sure that you choose the correct
setting for each load.
259
Whenever possible, place your washing
machine close to your hot water heater
to reduce heat loss in the connecting pipes.
Wrap any exposed pipes with insulation,
especially where they are close to cold
concrete walls.
260
Front-Loading
Versus
Top-Loading
The drums in front-loading washers
only look smaller than those in top
loaders. That’s because traditional toploading washers need agitators – the
large posts set in the middle of the
drum. Both types of machines wash
about the same amount of clothes;
however, front-loading washers use
about 40 percent less water per load
and 50 percent less energy than toploading washers. Front-loading
machines also use less detergent.
261
ENERGY STAR
Clothes washers that meet ENERGY STAR
performance levels save more energy
and water than other machines. For
example, ENERGY STAR labelled washers
feature high-efficiency motors that spin
clothes faster to remove more water.
That means that less time and energy
are needed to dry the clothes.
ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers:
✓ use less than 400 kWh of electricity
per year
✓ use about 40 percent less water per
load but perform just as well
✓ include front- and top-loading
models
✓ feature a sensing technology that
measures the weight of the load and
automatically sets the water level
262
EnerGuide
The EnerGuide energy rating is based
on 392 normal wash cycles per year and
includes the amount of energy used to
heat the water.
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263
Don’t put dripping wet clothes into your
dryer; your machine will have to work harder
and use more energy. Wring the clothes out
or spin them in the clothes washer first.
264
If possible, sort your clothes by thickness.
Dry the thin, quick-drying items in one load
and thicker items, such as towels, in another.
265
Try to start your second load of drying as soon
as the first is finished. That way the dryer will
still be warm, and you’ll save energy.
266
Don’t leave clothes in the dryer too long.
Over-drying not only uses more electricity,
it sets wrinkles in your clothes and causes
more shrinkage. Clothes should dry in
40 to 60 minutes.
267
To save money and reduce clothes shrinkage, you can also use your dryer’s cooldown cycle (usually the permanent-press
setting). No heat is supplied in the last few
minutes, but drying continues as cool air is
blown through tumbling clothes.
268
Allow slightly damp clothes to finish drying
by hanging them in your laundry room or on
your clothesline. (Don’t do too much drying
indoors during the winter, as this may cause
a buildup of moisture and cause condensation problems.)
272
Make sure that your dryer’s exterior exhaust
duct opening — and the area around it — is
clear of all debris. Lint often builds up on
the movable shutters and keeps the hood
from closing properly. Small animals have
been known to nest in duct openings, which
offer warmth in the winter.
273
Once a year, disconnect and clean the dryer
moisture exhaust duct. It should be free of
lint, dust and pet hair. The duct should also
be completely round, not kinked, to ensure
that dryer exhaust travels easily to the outside.
274
Empty the lint screen after every load. Once
a year, wash the lint screen with a toothbrush and detergent to remove film left by
fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Your dryer
will work better and use less energy.
275
Make sure that you replace your dryer’s
exhaust hood if it becomes broken or
rusted open.
M
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Clothes Dryers
Installation and Maintenance
269
270
271
46
When installing your dryer, read the owner’s
manual and follow the instructions carefully.
Always vent your dryer to the outside of
the house. Some people believe that venting
into the house saves heat, but it also leads
to a buildup of moisture, odours and lint.
For safety reasons — and by law — natural
gas dryers must never be vented inside
the home.
Make sure that your dryer ducting is the right
size and length. Generally, metal ducting is
more energy efficient than ribbed plasticcoil types, especially when long runs are
needed.
276
“On-Line”
Drying
Don’t forget about your outdoor
clothesline – think of the energy
savings and the fresh-air smell!
277
Looking to Buy?
Many dryers now come with sensors
that automatically shut off the dryer
when your clothes are dry. This saves
energy and reduces the wear and
tear on your clothes.
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Part 5
Small
Appliances
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Small Appliances
282
Use an electric kettle to heat water. It’s
more energy efficient than using a cooktop
element or even a microwave.
283
When buying a new electric kettle, choose
one that has an automatic shut-off button
and a heat-resistant handle.
To save money throughout the year, use small
appliances wisely and make sure that they are
clean and well maintained.
284
It takes more energy to heat a dirty kettle.
Regularly clean your electric kettle by combining boiling water and vinegar to remove
mineral deposits.
Toaster Ovens
285
Don’t overfill the kettle for just one drink.
Heat only the amount of water you need.
P
P
L
I
A
Together, small appliances use a great deal
of energy. Think about it: they’re used in the
kitchen — one of the busiest rooms in your
home — from early morning until late at night.
And there’s often more than one of these
appliances on at the same time.
S
M
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A
Electric Kettles
278
Heating up a few leftovers? A toaster oven
uses much less energy than a regular oven and
is perfect for heating small quantities of food.
279
Don’t overfill your toaster oven. Make sure
that air can move freely around inside and
outside the appliance.
Microwave Ovens
48
280
Microwaves save energy by reducing
cooking times. In fact, you can save up to
50 percent on your cooking energy costs by
using a microwave oven instead of a regular
oven, especially for small quantities of food.
281
Remember, microwaves cook food from the
outside edge toward the centre of the dish, so
if you’re cooking more than one item, place
larger and thicker items on the outside.
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Part 6
Lighting
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286
Because of our long winter nights, Canadians
rely heavily on electrical lighting. Controlling
your use of lighting is one of the easiest and
cheapest ways to cut down on energy costs.
287
One of the best energy-saving devices is the
light switch. Turn off lights when a room is
not occupied.
288
Many devices help save energy used in
lighting. Look for automatic timers, motion
sensors, dimmers and solar cells.
289
Try placing a lamp in the corner of a room;
the light will be reflected off both walls and the
ceiling to provide better overall illumination.
L
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G
H
T
I
N
Lighting
50
290
Use task lighting, which focuses light where
it’s needed. A reading lamp, for example, lights
only your book rather than the whole room.
291
If you always forget to turn off the lights,
consider doorframe switches that turn lights
on and off as doors are opened and closed.
These are especially handy for closets.
292
Dirty bulbs reflect less light and can
absorb 50 percent of the light; dust your
light bulbs regularly.
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293
Swap your energy-guzzling incandescent
light bulbs for more efficient types. Compact
fluorescent bulbs use up to 75 percent less
electricity than incandescents. Compact fluorescents cost more but last up to 10 times
longer, so they quickly pay for themselves
over time.
294
Choose the most efficient type of light for
each application. Compact and tube fluorescent lights are the most energy efficient but
are best used in areas where lights are left
on for long periods.
295
Halogen lighting produces a more intense
and focused light; its bulbs use up to
40 percent less energy than traditional
bulbs. Halogen lighting is also excellent
for gardens and pathways.
296
Did You Know?
A 15-watt compact fluorescent bulb produces the same
amount of light as a 60-watt
incandescent bulb.
297
Move and Save!
Do you find that your home’s
outside lights are often left on
when they’re not needed? Here’s
a money-saving solution: install
lights that have built-in motion
detectors. They can help you cut
the energy use of your outside
lights by as much as 50 percent.
These lights switch on automatically when people move
close to them and switch off after
a few minutes when movement
has stopped.
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Part 7
Home Offices
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I
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Home Offices
H
O
M
E
O
F
F
Personal computers make it easy for Canadians
to bring their work home and turn extra rooms
into home offices. These work spaces contain
many electrical devices, including monitors, fax
machines, printers and scanners. And because
people are working from home, energy use
increases throughout the house during the day.
Here are some handy tips for saving energy and
money in your home office.
298
Turn off your home office equipment when
not in use. A computer that runs 24 hours
a day, for instance, uses between $75 and
$120 worth of electricity each year — more
power than an energy-efficient refrigerator.
In standby mode, your PC’s energy use can
be reduced to $15 per year.
299
If your computer must be left on, turn off
the monitor; this device alone uses more
than half the system’s energy.
300
Fluorescent desk lamps consume about
a quarter of the energy of an incandescent
unit, give off the same amount of light
and last about 10 times longer.
301
Battery chargers, such as those for laptops,
cell phones and digital cameras, draw power
whenever they are plugged in and are very
inefficient. Pull the plug and save.
303
Computer Myths
Screen savers save computer
screens, not energy.
Start-ups and shutdowns do
not use any extra energy, nor
are they hard on your computer components. In fact, shutting computers down when
you are finished using them
actually reduces system wear –
and saves energy.
302
Replacing Your Computer?
Don’t toss it in the garbage. Computers contain lead and heavy
metals that are dangerous to the environment. There are many
agencies that are glad to receive donated computers. Your
municipality may have a “take back” program that identifies
companies or organizations that take back old computers.
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304
Looking to Buy?
✓ Look for the ENERGY STAR symbol, which identifies
the most energy-efficient home office equipment.
The ENERGY STAR symbol means that the computer
was shipped from the manufacturer with the energy
management features in the operating system
switched on. To maintain energy savings, leave
them on or adjust them to your work flow.
✓ Buy a monitor that is the right size for your needs.
In general, the larger the monitor, the more energy
it consumes.
✓ If you are buying a laser printer, look for one that
has an energy-saver feature mode that automatically steps down the unit to standby mode and
reduces electricity use by more than 65 percent.
✓ ENERGY STAR labelled scanners do not cost more than
other models; however, they do offer energy-saving
features that set scanners to sleep mode when idle.
These features may also save you money by prolonging the life of the scanner’s light sources.
(ENERGY STAR qualified scanners automatically power
down to 12 watts or less after a period of inactivity.)
✓ ENERGY STAR labelled fax machines have powermanagement features that cut energy costs by as
much as 50 percent. (ENERGY STAR qualified fax
machines automatically enter a low-power mode
of 15 to 45 watts or less after a period of inactivity.)
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Part 8
Vehicles
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311
Remote car starters are handy on cold winter
mornings, but don’t start your car too soon.
In most cases, today’s modern engines need
to warm up for only 30 seconds, even on cold
winter mornings. Besides, allowing your car
to idle too long wastes gas and produces
unnecessary exhaust emissions.
312
Plan your trips. Stay away from areas where
you know the traffic is heavy. Combine
errands to save fuel and time.
313
Don’t use your vehicle’s air conditioner unless
it’s absolutely necessary. Using your air conditioning in stop-and-go traffic can also mean
using as much as 20 percent more fuel. To
keep cool, consider using the ventilation system
and options such as a sunroof and tinted glass.
314
One reason that many of today’s cars are fuel
efficient is their shape. Sleek and streamlined,
they slice through the air, use less fuel and
save you money. Attaching a roof rack cuts
those savings. If you must have a roof rack,
choose one that can be removed when not
in use.
315
Poor wheel alignment and brake drag also
increase fuel consumption. Check for uneven tire
wear and have your vehicle serviced regularly.
316
Drive at the posted speed limit. Increasing
your highway cruising speed from 100 km/h
to 120 km/h can increase fuel consumption
by about 20 percent.
C
L
E
Vehicles
V
E
H
I
You’ve checked your home inside and out to
improve energy efficiency. If you’re looking for more
savings, head for the garage or driveway – your
car or light truck may not be a gas-guzzler like
those of the 1950s and 1960s, but it still accounts
for a major part of your annual energy costs.
There are many ways you can save energy and
money and help protect the environment while
operating your car.
58
305
Use the Fuel Consumption Guide to help
you choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle
that meets your everyday needs. It will
help you reduce your fuel consumption
and fuel costs.
306
Ethanol-blended gasolines can help reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute
to climate change. Check your owner’s
manual to see if your vehicle will run on
low-level ethanol-blended gasoline, which
is available at nearly 1000 gasoline stations
across Canada.
307
The use of other alternative fuels such as
natural gas and propane also help reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
308
Aggressive driving saves very little time and
substantially increases fuel consumption
and exhaust emissions.
309
On the highway, maintain a steady speed
and avoid inadvertent speeding. You’ll use
less fuel and save money.
310
If you’re parked (except in traffic), don’t let
the engine idle — turn it off to protect the
environment and cut your fuel costs. More
than 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel
than restarting the engine.
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To optimize your vehicle’s fuel efficiency,
follow the manufacturer’s recommendations
when maintaining your vehicle. Change the
oil and filter regularly. Oil breaks down over
time and loses its ability to lubricate, cool and
protect your engine. Clogged air filters make
your engine work harder, use more gas and
produce more emissions. Make sure that your
mechanic checks your vehicle’s emissions
system during routine servicing.
318
Don’t buy a bigger car than you need.
Generally, the larger the car, the more fuel
it will use. Options such as power windows
and power seats add weight to cars, making
engines work harder and burn more fuel.
319
Four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive
increase fuel consumption by as much as
5 to 10 percent due to the increased
weight and friction of the additional
drivetrain components.
322
320
321
Whenever possible, walk, cycle, carpool
or use public transportation.
Check your tire pressure at least once a
month. Take your measurements when the
tires are cold (i.e., three hours after use or
after driving a distance of less than 2 km).
A vehicle driving on tires that are underinflated by only 6 psi (pounds per square
inch), or 40 kPa, can use up to 3 percent
more fuel. Under-inflated tires are also
unsafe and wear out faster.
Looking to Buy?
✓ There are many things to consider when buying a new vehicle. Make
fuel efficiency one of them. A more energy-efficient vehicle will save
you money every time you drive. Check the EnerGuide label on new
vehicles. This label will tell you roughly how much fuel a vehicle uses
in the city and on the highway. The label also provides information on
the vehicle’s annual fuel cost.
✓ Choose vehicle options that contribute to better fuel economy, such
as tinted glass, cruise control, a block heater or aluminum wheels.
Options that add weight and/or draw extra power from the engine,
such as power seats and windows, heated seats, air conditioning,
four-wheel and all-wheel drive, can increase fuel consumption.
✓ If you’re buying a used vehicle, check the on-line Fuel Consumption
Guide, which contains ratings for every light-duty vehicle sold each
year in Canada since 1995. See the Web site at oee.nrcan.gc.ca/vehicles.
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E
H
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S
323
V
A Chip Off the Old Block
Your vehicle’s oil doesn’t freeze when the temperature dips below
0°C (32°F), but it does become much thicker. So when you try to
start a cold engine, it’s as though the parts are moving through
molasses instead of water. That means your engine has to work
harder, so it uses more fuel. Using a block heater warms the oil
and engine coolant and makes your vehicle easier to start – and
that can improve winter fuel economy by as much as 10 percent.
But don’t leave your block heater on overnight; your savings will
disappear in a bigger electricity bill. Use a timer to switch on the
block heater two hours before you plan to drive.
60
324
Once a month, check fluid levels, including
engine oil, engine coolant levels, transmission fluid and power steering fluid as
instructed in the owner’s manual. Also
check around the car and under the engine
for fluid leaks.
325
Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle.
Changing it regularly, according to the
manufacturer’s recommendations in your
owner’s manual, is the best way to keep
your vehicle in top operating condition.
326
Reduce weight. If you add weight to the
trunk or pickup bed of your vehicle in the
winter months, don’t forget to remove it
when the snow melts. The extra weight
just means wasted fuel and unnecessary
emissions.
327
Plan your driving by looking ahead
of traffic. Anticipate problems. Keep
a “buffer zone” between your vehicle
and the one ahead so you can avoid
sudden braking and accelerating.
Quick stops and rapid acceleration
waste fuel.
328
Don’t rest your foot on the brake
pedal when you are driving. This
strains the engine, uses more fuel,
increases brake wear and decreases
brake efficiency.
329
Use the proper grade of fuel. Using
the proper grade of fuel recommended for your vehicle by the manufacturer will provide the best performance and lowest operating cost.
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Part 9
Yard
Machinery,
Pools
and Cottages
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N
E
Yard Machinery
330
Tune up for spring – clean spark plugs
and adjust carburetors and chokes. Replace
transmission oil to help your machine run
smoothly and use less energy.
331
Electric lawn mowers should be serviced in
the spring. Check your operator’s manual
for instructions on cleaning and lubrication.
Remove grass clippings from under motor
hoods; this small precaution will help keep
motors running smoothly and efficiently.
Y
A
R
D
M
A
C
H
I
L AW N M O W E R S
AN D ROTOTI LLE R S
332
Watch your engine speed. Don’t run gaspowered lawn mowers at full throttle unless
the grass is long and thick.
333
Most gas-powered lawn machinery is aircooled, which means that it must be kept
moving. Leaving your machine to idle is not
only hard on the engine, it also wastes gasoline and can be a danger to children and pets.
334
Gas-powered lawn machinery emits greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change;
electric-powered lawn machinery does not
emit such gases.
339
SNOWBLOWERS
335
Each year, tune gas-powered snowblowers as
you would lawn mowers. Clean spark plugs,
adjust carburetors and chokes, and replace
transmission oil to help snowblowers run
smoothly and use less energy.
336
Use snowblowers only for moderate to heavy
snowfalls. Clear away light snowfalls with
shovels; it’s good exercise, saves gasoline
and reduces exhaust emissions.
337
Protect your snowblower from rust by clearing all snow and ice from the machine after
each use. Try using a broom; it’s strong
enough to scrape away snow without
scratching paint. And be sure to keep the
carburetor clear – ice buildup can increase
your snowblower’s gasoline use.
338
Generally, electric snowblowers work best in
light snow. You risk burning out the electric
motor if you use these machines in deep,
heavy snow. Check your instruction manual
for details and for information on proper
maintenance.
Save Gas and Reduce
Greenhouse Gas Emissions!
Running snowblowers at full throttle wastes gas, creates more
exhaust emissions and causes more noise. Save money by using
only as much power as you need to clear away snow. Adjust
snowblower throttles to the amount of snow – low throttle for
light snowfalls and full throttle for blizzards and snowbanks.
Don’t forget that using a shovel when possible saves
energy and money!
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Pools
346
340
341
Remember to turn off the water heater each
time you leave for a day or more. What’s the
sense of paying to heat hot water if you’re a
hundred miles away?
347
Read the user’s manual for instructions on the
safest way to turn off your hot water heater.
342
Use pump timers to regulate energy and the
length of time your pool is heated.
Cover your pool with a thermal pool blanket
to prevent heat from escaping and reduce
water evaporation.
Use solar panels to heat your pool. They are
very cost-effective.
H E AT I N G
348
Some heating units, particularly electrical
ones, can be turned off at the unit; others
have a thermostat that indicates “warm.” If
the weather turns cool, the heater will come
on. This is a waste in summer if the cottage
is empty. Check to see if your unit can be
turned off completely; if not, switch it off at
the fuse box.
349
Before you head home after the weekend,
turn the heat off, either at the unit or the
thermostat. If your water system is operating,
you’ll need some heat to keep the pipes from
freezing, but you can still turn the heat way
down. When you return, turn the thermostat
up to the usual level. But don’t set it higher
because the building won’t heat up any faster.
350
If you plan to use your cottage year-round,
you will probably need to improve the insulation. Follow the ideas in Part 2: Housing.
Cottages
B OAT S
343
If you’re near a lake, chances are that you
own a boat of some kind. If you have a
family that enjoys water skiing, you need
a larger and more powerful motor. But you
don’t have to use this big one all the time.
What do you use to go fishing early in the
morning? Or to go on a little sightseeing
trip? A smaller motor is more economical
and will get you wherever you want to go –
perhaps not as quickly, but you’ll have more
time to relax. And isn’t that the whole idea?
SNOWMOBILES
344
Snowmobiles can be a great help in the
winter. But if you want to relax and get
back to nature, why not strap on a pair of
cross-country skis or snowshoes? You’ll
get some good exercise and see all the
wildlife that goes into hiding whenever
a snowmobile is near.
H O T WAT E R H E AT E R
345
When you’re heading home from the cottage,
be sure to turn off the hot water heater. It’s a
waste of energy to keep water hot that isn’t
needed, and it won’t take long to heat up
when you return.
CLOSING UP
I N TH E FALL
351
If you don’t use your cottage in winter, there
are a few points to check when you leave
for the last time in the fall. Drain the water
from all taps. Defrost and unplug the
refrigerator; be sure it’s dry and leave the
door slightly ajar. Turn off the main electric
power switch as a double-check that nothing
has been left on.
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Part 10
Waste
Management
65
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M
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Waste Management
352
Buy goods that are efficient, durable, more
environmentally friendly and not over-packaged. These simple purchasing decisions
can encourage a reduction in the amount
of energy required to manufacture products.
353
Buy locally produced goods when possible
to lower the amount of fuel used in transporting goods. If consumers demand more
energy efficiency in bringing products to
market, manufacturers and distributors
will accommodate.
W
A
S
T
E
M
A
N
A
G
E
The average Canadian household throws out
a tonne (1000 kg) of garbage every year. More
than half of all solid waste collected in Canada
is made up of consumer or household garbage.
Reducing the amount of garbage ending up in
landfill sites can reduce the amount of methane
that is released into the atmosphere.
R ECYC LI NG
66
354
The energy saved from recycling one aluminum can is enough to run your television
for three hours. Making the effort to recycle
helps the environment and saves energy.
355
Products made from recycled materials
require much less energy to manufacture.
For example, die casting a part from recycled aluminum requires 95 percent less
energy than using primary metal. Saving
energy also means that less carbon dioxide
is emitted into the atmosphere.
356
Repair or reuse items rather than buy new
products. Give away — don’t throw away —
items you no longer need or want.
COMPOSTING
Many of your kitchen organic wastes can be
transformed into valuable garden compost. For
example, all your fruit and vegetable wastes, tea
bags and coffee grinds and some eggshells (but
not too many) can be composted. Many other
organic materials make good compost, including
leaf and yard waste, laundry lint, lawn clippings,
paper filters and other paper products and ashes
from the fireplace. Composting does not produce
methane, reducing the average-sized family’s
greenhouse gas emissions by about 880 kg per
year. Disposing of organic wastes in landfill sites
produces methane if oxygen is not available to
help break down the material.
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Part 11
Information Resources
GROUND-SOURCE
H E AT P U M P S
TECHNICAL
I N F O R M AT I O N
Earth Energy Society of Canada
124 O’Connor St., Suite 504
Ottawa ON K1P 5M9
Tel.: (613) 371-3372
Fax: (613) 822-4987
E-mail: [email protected]
Canadian Construction Materials Centre
Product and Materials Evaluation
Institute for Research in Construction
National Research Council Canada
Building M-24, 1500 Montreal Road
Ottawa ON K1A 0R6
Tel.: (613) 993-6189
Fax: (613) 952-0268
Web site: www.nrc.ca/ccmc
WINDOWS
Siding and Windows Dealers
Association of Canada (SAWDAC)
84 Adam Street
Cambridge ON N3C 2K6
Tel.: 1 800 813-9616 (toll-free)
Fax: (519) 658-4753
Web site: www.sawdac.com
I N F O R M AT I O N O N
S TA N DA R D S A N D
C E R T I F I C AT I O N
PROGRAMS
CSA International
Customer Service Department
178 Rexdale Boulevard
Etobicoke ON M9W 1R3
Tel.: 1 800 463-6727 (toll-free)
Fax: (416) 747-4149
Web site: www.csa-international.org
Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation
700 Montreal Road
Ottawa ON K1A 0P7
Tel.: (613) 748-2000
Fax: (613) 748-2098
Web site: www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca
I N F O R M AT I O N O N
MAN U FACTU R E R S,
CONTRACTORS AND
DEALERS
Canadian Window and Door
Manufacturers Association (CWDMA)
Web site: www.cwdma.ca
Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance
27 Goulburn Avenue
Ottawa ON K1N 8C7
Tel.: (613) 233-1510
Fax: (613) 233-1929
Web site: www.igmaonline.org
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A LT E R N AT I V E
T R A N S P O R TAT I O N F U E L S
Propane Gas Association of Canada
300 5th Avenue South West, Suite 2150
Calgary AB T2P 3C4
Tel.: (403) 543-6500
Fax: (403) 543-6508
Web site: www.propanegas.ca
Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance
77 Bloor Street West, Suite 1104
Toronto ON M5S 1M2
Tel.: (416) 961-2339
Fax: (416) 961-1173
Web site: www.ngvcanada.org
E-mail: [email protected]
Canadian Renewable Fuels
Association (Ethanol)
Head Office
31 Adelaide Street East
P.O. Box 398
Toronto ON M5C 2J8
Tel.: (416) 304-1324
Fax: (416) 304-1335
Web site: www.greenfuels.org
68
VEHICLES
Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’
Association (CVMA)
170 Attwell Drive, Suite 400
Etobicoke ON M9W 5Z5
Tel.: 1 800 758-7122
Fax: (416) 367-3221
Web site: www.cvma.ca
Association of International Automobile
Manufacturers of Canada (AIAMC)
438 University Avenue
Suite 1618, Box 60
Toronto ON M5G 2K8
Tel.: (416) 595-8251
Fax: (416) 595-2864
Web site: www.aiamc.com
R AD IANT PAN E LS
Radiant Panel Association
P.O. Box 717
Loveland CO 80539
U.S.A.
Tel.: (970) 613-0100
1 800 660-7187 (toll-free)
Fax: (970) 613-0098
Web site: www.radiantpanelassociation.org
E-mail: [email protected]
Brochure ENG
10/18/04
5:01 pm
Page 70
Leading Canadians to Energy Efficiency at Home, at Work and on the Road
The Office of Energy Efficiency of Natural Resources Canada
strengthens and expands Canada’s commitment to energy efficiency
in order to help address the challenges of climate change.
70
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