Equipment Solutions - Wise Energy Guide
Equipment solutions
s Furnaces
s Space heaters and wall furnaces
s Combo hydronic baseboard
s Combo radiant floor heating
Whether you’re currently using natural gas
energy, or are thinking about converting to
it, you can rest assured that natural gas is the
best environmental choice for home heating,
water heating, and appliances – particularly
when compared to other fossil fuels.
s Combo fan coil and forced air
Natural gas energy offers a wide choice
s Fireplaces
of options to fit your budget, heating, and
s Water heaters
appliance requirements. You’ll find that
the manufacturers of natural gas furnaces
s Other natural gas appliances
and appliances have made many technical
advances to improve their efficiency. For
example, some continuous burning pilot
lights have been replaced with an energysaving electronic ignition. There is also
the option of venting a natural gas furnace,
water heater and natural gas fireplace
s Heating and air-conditioning
directly through the wall of the basement,
s Thermostats
which reduces the heat loss that used to
escape up the chimney!
s Fireplaces
s Water heating
s Exhaust fans
s Appliances
s Lighting
Equipment solutions
High-efficiency natural gas furnaces
The high-tech design of a high-efficiency natural gas furnace offers you significant energy savings and squeezes
the most heat out of every heating dollar. Another advantage of a high-efficiency natural gas furnace is that its
combustion gases are exhausted directly through a side wall to the outdoors, which eliminates the need for
a chimney, and the danger of backdrafting. Most units also have a direct source of combustion air from the
outdoors. (Note: As of Dec. 31, 2009 the new national standard for gas furnaces will require a minimum fuel
efficiency level of 90 percent).
If you run your furnace motor continuously for improved air circulation in your home consider purchasing a
high-efficiency brushless direct current (DC) motor with your new furnace. Government studies have shown
significant motor electrical consumption reductions of more than 50 percent in both winter and summer
operation. You can’t add this feature to an existing system, so be sure to ask your heating contractor about
the option when buying a new furnace.
EnerGuide and ENERGY STAR® products for home heating
High-efficiency natural gas furnace
Printed on the back page of furnace
manufacturers’ literature. AFUE* rating
of 90% to 98%.
An asterisk (*) on the model/AFUE
rating indicates a high-efficiency motor.
Natural gas furnaces that have an
AFUE rating of 90% or higher
Natural gas-fired boiler
No EnerGuide label
ENERGY STAR qualified at an AFUE
rating of 85% or higher
Condensing natural gas-fired boiler
No EnerGuide label
The ENERGY STAR program does
not include natural gas-fired boiler
at this time
Natural gas fireplace
Fireplaces range in efficiency from about
30% to 70%. The higher the percentage
the more efficient the model. Printed in
manufacturer’s literature or on websites.
The ENERGY STAR program does
not include natural gas fireplaces at
this time
*Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)
AFUE measures the amount of heat actually delivered to your house compared to the amount of fuel that you must supply to the furnace.
Thus, a furnace that has an 90% AFUE rating converts 90% of the fuel that you supply to heat -- the other 10% is lost out of the chimney.
EnerGuide allows you to compare the energy efficiency of the many different models of
household appliances or heating and cooling products sold in Canada. For some of these
products, ENERGY STAR goes one step further and identifies specific models that meet
or exceed premium levels of energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR symbol may even
appear on an EnerGuide label. When you see ENERGY STAR
on an EnerGuide label, you can be sure that the product is
among the most energy efficient available.
Equipment solutions
Want to upgrade your electric baseboards to natural gas?
Natural gas space heaters and wall furnaces are good
options to consider.
Natural gas space heaters and wall furnaces
What about those hard-to-heat areas of your home like
closed-in porches, add-on rooms, garages, or the basement?
A natural gas-fired convection space heater may be just the
right system to complement your existing heating system.
These compact, energy-efficient units are directly vented
outside, mounted on a wall, and can be sized to heat just
one room or several. Some units have built in humidifiers,
circulating fans and electronic ignitions. They are also
approved for mobile and manufactured homes.
installing a natural gas space heater, wall furnace, or a
natural gas fireplace and/or a natural gas water heater.
Any one of these options will allow you to enjoy the benefits
of natural gas energy without the bother and expense of
installing duct work.
Combination natural gas heating and water heating units
Combo systems are an innovative design that use a natural gas
water heater to provide heat and domestic hot water to your
If you have electric baseboard heating in your home, consider
home. While some combo systems have used conventional gas
storage tanks as the heat source, high-efficiency combo systems
A combo system requires professional
usually include either a condensing storage tank water heater
design for proper sizing. The Heating,
or a high-efficiency tankless water heater.
Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning
There are combo systems now available that also integrate
heat recovery ventilation with the space and water heating.
Institute of Canada (HRAI) provides
this training to the industry based on the
Unified Canadian Guideline for Integrated
It is important to consider the efficiency of such an integrated
(Combo) Heating Systems. Ensure that
system, especially for heating your home. A combo or
your contractor (designer) has been
integrated system should have a space heating efficiency
trained by HRAI. To search for a
of at least 78 percent although some systems are capable of
qualified designer or contractor call
space heating efficiencies of as high as 90 percent.
1 877 467-4724 or visit
Equipment solutions
There are three types of natural gas space heating systems, which
can be connected to the natural gas water heater: hydronic
baseboard, radiant floor heating, and fan coil and forced air.
1 Combo hydronic baseboard
Natural gas hydronic baseboards are a direct replacement for
electric baseboards. Hot water from the natural gas hot water
tank is piped directly to each baseboard, providing comfortable,
gentle, and even heat.
2 Combo radiant floor heating
Radiant floor heating warms from the floor up, utilizing hot
water circulating through a network of plastic tubing embedded
in concrete floors. As a result, radiant floor heating warms
everything in its path for a more comfortable and efficient
distribution of heat. Because radiant floor heating systems warm
from the floor up, radiating heat directly to you, you can feel
more comfortable, even with your thermostat set lower.
3 Combo fan coil and forced air
The combo fan coil and forced air system uses existing duct
work to distribute the heat recovered from the hot water tank.
Unlike hydronic baseboards and radiant floor heating, electronic
air cleaners, humidifiers, and air-conditioners can be used with
this system.
Whether you’re currently using natural gas energy, or are
thinking about converting to it, you can rest assured that natural
gas is the best environmental choice for home heating, water
heating, and appliances – particularly when compared to other
fossil fuels.
Natural gas energy offers a wide choice of options to fit your
budget, heating, and appliance requirements. You’ll find that
the manufacturers of natural gas furnaces and appliances have
made many technical advances to improve their efficiency.
For example, some continuous burning pilot lights have been
replaced with an energy-saving electronic ignition. There is also
the option of venting a natural gas furnace, water heater and
natural gas fireplace directly through the wall of the basement,
which reduces the heat loss that used to escape up the chimney.
Equipment solutions
Natural gas fireplaces
Natural gas fireplaces offer a beautiful, convenient, and
economical alternative to wood-burning fireplaces. Plus,
natural gas fireplaces are better for the environment, since
they eliminate the smoke, ashes, lingering embers and air
pollutants associated with wood-burning fireplaces.
When shopping for a natural gas fireplace, it is important
to know a few facts. Natural gas fireplaces are rated for
efficiency using the CAN/CSA - P.4 - 02 performance-testing
standard. This rating system helps to narrow your choices
when purchasing a natural gas fireplace.
Natural gas water heaters
Did you know natural gas is the
preferred choice of fuel for heating
A good energy-efficient model should have an efficiency
water? Natural gas heats water twice
rating of between 50 to 70 percent or even higher.
as fast as electric water heaters and
You will find the EnerGuide rating for gas fireplaces
at a lower cost. However, when
in the manufacturer’s literature or on their website.
comparing electric water heating to
natural gas water heating actual cost
Energy-efficient fireplaces have many of the
comparisons may vary depending on
following features:
location and usage. Some natural gas
1 An EnerGuide Fireplace Efficiency (FE) rating over 50 percent.
water heaters can exhaust directly
through a wall instead of up a
2 Direct-vent design.
3 Either an intermittent electronic ignition system, a means
to be installed closer to the point of
of turning off and relighting the pilot light, or a two-stage pilot
use, or in a more convenient location;
that runs with a very low flame when the fireplace is off.
and it also reduces excess heat loss
4 Radiation-transparent ceramic glass front.
5 A quiet squirrel-cage type circulating fan to help transfer
convective heat to the room.
6 Secondary heat exchanger.
7 Insulated outer casing to prevent heat loss through
the walls to the outside if located on an exterior wall.
8 Good turndown control or other means such as ducting
to prevent localized overheating.
chimney. This allows the water heater
that can escape up the chimney.
An ENERGY STAR® tankless water
heater heats water on demand. This
system can be sized to heat water for
all uses in your home or for just one
shower or sink.
Equipment solutions
You can also choose to use the sun to heat up to 50 percent of your
hot water with a solar collector system. Since energy from the sun is
free, solar water heaters can significantly reduce a household’s water
heating costs – savings that in turn can offset the higher purchase
and installation costs of a solar system.
Whichever way you choose to heat your water you can substantially
reduce your hot water heating costs with the installation of a
Drain Water Heat Recovery system. This system recovers the heat
remaining in your shower water and pre-heats the incoming water
Drain Water Heat Recovery Unit
hat feeds your water heater system. Up to 60 percent of the heat
from drain water is recovered and used to pre-heat cold water
Other natural gas appliances
going to the water heater from about 8°C to about 23°C. That saves
energy and saves homeowners up to 30 percent* of their water
You can also purchase natural gas
ranges, cooktops, clothes dryers,
heating costs.
barbecues, and pool heaters. These
Top 10 Reasons to install a Drain Water Heat Recovery System:
natural gas appliances are energy
s Simple technology reuses heat energy to reduce energy consumption
efficient and cost effective when
s Lower water heating costs by up to 30 percent
compared to the same electric
s After space heating, water heating is your largest energy expense
s Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
Visit for a listing
s Easy to retrofit into existing homes
of natural gas products. Including
s Maintenance free with no moving parts
information on installation, cost
s Recognized by ENERGY STAR® for New Homes
comparisons, manufacturers, and
s Increases water heating capacity
where to buy or rent.
s Purchase and rental options available
For more information visit
* Savings may vary due to individual hot water use,
fluctuating energy costs and installation variables.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) maintains the EnerGuide Appliance Directory,
which lists the energy consumption ratings of all new major electrical household
appliances sold in Canada. The directory also indicates the models that are
ENERGY STAR® qualified.
For a printed copy, call 1 800 387-2000 or visit
Equipment solutions
Furnace and air-conditioning maintenance
If your furnace and air-conditioner are operating at peak
efficiency, they will use less energy and cost less to operate.
You should have a heating contractor perform a yearly
maintenance check on your furnace, venting, and cooling
Have a Heating, Ventilation and
systems to ensure they are operating at peak efficiency.
Air Conditioning contractor (HVAC)
In between those visits, there are some simple do-it-yourself
check and inspect your heating
tasks to help keep your systems working efficiently:
system components including:
s Change or clean your filter frequently (i.e. every one to two
months) during the heating and air-conditioning seasons.
s Air blower fan and motor
A dirty air filter reduces the airflow to the operating
s Flame pattern
equipment and forces it to run longer to heat and cool the
house. Using a furnace filter alarm can let you know when
s Test for carbon monoxide
the filter needs to be changed. Electronic air cleaner filters
s Burner, pilot
also need to be cleaned regularly (every one to two months)
s Furnace controls
s Keep return air grills, hot air registers, radiators, and space
s Bearings, belts, pumps
heaters/baseboards clear of furniture, rugs, and drapes to
s Venting
allow free movement of air
s Chimney
s You can ensure more heated or cooled air reaches its
destination by sealing the seams of accessible furnace
ducting with aluminum foil tape. TIP: Aluminum foil
tape out-performs duct tape for this job, as duct tape
has a tendency to dry out
s Insulate all ducts in unheated or cooler spaces with
commercial duct insulation – or make your own! Simply
s Pilot safety system
s Power exhaust
s Air filter
s Visible gas piping for leaks
s Electronic ignition system
s Electronic air cleaner
wrap the ducts with glass fibre batts, secure lightly with
Your HVAC contractor will clean
string, cover insulation with plastic, and tape all edges
the furnace components as necessary
You’ll be glad to know that making your home more energy
efficient doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. There are many
easy ways to keep your heating and cooling costs down.
s Heat exchanger
for proper operation and can inspect
your air-conditioning system.
Equipment solutions
Making the most of air-conditioning
Room air-conditioners
To provide comfortable conditions during hot, humid weather
Refer to these tips when you’re
you must not only cool your home, but also reduce the
shopping for and operating room
humidity levels.
If you operate them properly, central air-conditioning systems
s Before you buy, you’ll need the
will cool and dehumidify the whole house, and room air-
following information: exact room
conditioners will cool and dehumidify individual rooms.
dimensions and room details
Central air-conditioners
(i.e. is the room closed off or are
there open passages to other rooms);
Use the EnerGuide rating found on the back page of
size and type of windows; and
manufacturers’ brochures to identify the efficiency level
room location. Does it get morning
of a central air-conditioner. Like all EnerGuide labels and
or afternoon sun? Is there outside
ratings the scale shows you at a glance whether the
shading? What power supply is
air-conditioner is a good or an average energy performer
available in the room?
in comparison to other similar models. (Note: EnerGuide
ratings for air-conditioners and furnaces work in the reverse
to EnerGuide labels for household appliances. Look for a
larger number on the scale when buying heating and cooling
equipment to ensure the highest efficiency).
s Room air-conditioners are also
rated for their efficiency. Look for
the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)
printed on an EnerGuide label,
attached to the unit. The unit’s EER
To choose the most energy-efficient model available, you
is also normally stamped
can also look for the ENERGY STAR® logo alongside the
on the nameplate affixed to the
EnerGuide rating. The ENERGY STAR logo means that
outer casing of the unit
the product has exceeded the minimum SEER* (Seasonal
Energy Efficiency Ratio) level and meets the highest energy
efficiency levels. To qualify for Ontario Home Energy
*SEER is the measure of equipment energy efficiency
over one cooling season.
Savings Program, central air-conditioners must meet or
exceed a SEER level of 14.5.
Equipment solutions
The higher the EER, the less electricity the unit uses to do the
same job. Although there may be a higher price tag for a more
s If possible, remove window air-
efficient unit, the energy savings over the life of the unit should
conditioners for the winter. If they
more than offset the difference in purchase price. ENERGY
must stay in place, seal around them
STAR® labels are attached to room air-conditioners that use at
with caulking or tape and cover the
least 10 percent less energy than conventional models.
unit with a purchased or homemade,
s Consider replacing your old room air-conditioners – today’s
ENERGY STAR qualified units use 30 to 40 percent less energy
than most models sold 10 to 15 years ago
s An air-conditioner’s ability to cool is rated in British Thermal
airtight, insulated jacket
For more information on cooling your
home efficiently, visit NRCan’s Website
( to order a free copy of
Air Conditioning Your Home.
Units (Btu/hr) and/or tons. About 18 Btu/hr are required to
cool and dehumidify one square foot of floor space in the
average house or apartment. For example, a 20’ x 25’
(500 sq. ft.) room would require approximately a 9,000 Btu/hr unit
s If the unit is too large, it may lower the room temperature
quicker, but it will not be on long enough to remove excess
humidity. Cool, humid air is uncomfortable
s If the unit is too small, it has to run longer to reduce the room
temperature, so your operating costs are high. Also, it may not
cool properly
Keeping your cool
s Air sealing, insulating, and keeping
windows and doors closed are just
as effective at keeping the house cool
during the summer as they are in
keeping the heat in during the winter
s Exterior shading, such as awnings,
over-hangs, and deciduous trees,
are the most effective ways to block
excessive solar heat gain in your
s Operate room air-conditioners on timers. They only require
home in the summer. Interior shading,
such as drapes, blinds, and reflective
no need to leave them on if there’s no one home during the day
window film, is also effective
about 30 minutes to cool and dehumidify a room, so there is
Wind or sun breaks
Plant evergreen trees or a dense hedge as a wind break between the prevailing
wind and your home; usually the north-west side.
Deciduous trees planted on the east and west side of your property near the
house will help block the summer sun, and allow the winter sun to
warm your home once the leaves have fallen. Research indicates that a
mature shade tree cools a home similar to an air-conditioner, with
no operating cost!
Equipment solutions
s Your appliances and incandescent lights give off heat that
If you have an air-conditioner in
a cooling system must counteract. Turn off lights that are not
your home, you should turn UP your
in use! Minimize the use of appliances at the hottest times of
thermostat a few degrees during the
the day. Bake, wash, dry, and iron in the early morning or
hot summer months to reduce air-
in the evening
conditioning costs. It is not as easy
s Use a ceiling fan alone or in conjunction with an airconditioner to help circulate cooled air. Fans use less energy
than air-conditioners. ENERGY STAR® qualified ceiling fans
move air up to 20 percent more efficiently than standard
ceiling fans
The greater the temperature difference between the inside
and outside of your home, the greater the potential for heat
loss or gain. You can reduce energy consumption by lowering
the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees while you’re
to state recommended temperature
settings for air-conditioning as it is for
heating because the air-conditioning
system must do two jobs; cool and
dehumidify the air to make you
comfortable. Generally, an efficient
and comfortable temperature zone
to maintain is between 24°C (74°F)
and 26°C (78°F), and never set the
thermostat more than 8°C (15°F)
below the outdoor temperature.
away or while you’re sleeping. During the heating season,
if you reduce the temperature in your home by 1°C over
a seven-hour period each day, you can save one percent on
your heating bill.
As a rule of thumb, don’t turn the temperature down
more than 6°C (10°F) below your normal setting in
the winter. Also, remember no matter how high you
turn up the thermostat, you will not heat your home
any quicker.
Programmable thermostats allow you to pre-program
temperature settings and they never ‘forget’ to raise or lower
the temperature of your house. For example, you can program
the thermostat to turn down the temperature of your house
at night when you are sleeping and raise it again before
you get up. Some programmable thermostats even have
a separate setting for weekend use and are compatible
with most air-conditioning systems.
Equipment solutions
Where is your thermostat located? This can affect the
If you can’t replace your wood-burning
efficient operation of your heating or cooling system. Be
fireplace, here are some tips to minimize
sure your thermostat is located away from direct sunlight
your heat loss:
and blasts of cold air from an opening exterior door.
s Provide outside air for combustion.
Avoid locating it above or near appliances such as lamps,
It may be as simple as opening a
TVs, or other appliances that give off heat.
window in the room or installing a
Once you have purchased and installed your fireplace,
it is important to use it wisely. The following guidelines
will help to maximize your fireplace’s performance and
minimize its energy consumption, saving on your overall
heating bill:
s If your unit has a pilot light, ensure it is turned off during
the summer
s Turn down your home’s main thermostat if possible when
the fireplace is operating
s If the fireplace has a thermostat, keep it at the lowest setting
possible when not in use (otherwise the thermostat could
cycle the fireplace on when you are not home, or when the
room is not occupied)
s Radiant heat transfer is maximized when the glass is clean.
A standard wood-burning fireplace may be traditional, but
fresh air vent for the fireplace. Contact
your local fireplace specialty store for
further advice and options
s Install tight fitting glass doors and keep
them closed when the fireplace is not
in use to prevent the home’s warm air
from escaping up the chimney
s Seal off an unused fireplace with a
home-made insulated plug. Simply
cut a piece of rigid polystyrene
insulation to fit snugly in the front
opening and decorate the plug with
either wallpaper or paint
s If your fireplace has a damper, make
sure it is closed when the fireplace is
not being used
Efficient use of fireplaces
it is not energy efficient! In fact, it removes more heated air
up the chimney than it provides. Cold air rushes in through
cracks and leaks in the home to replace the air that exits up
the chimney – even when the fireplace is not operating.
A direct vent, natural gas fireplace eliminates this problem
with a direct, outside combustion air supply. Consider a
natural gas fireplace for hard-to-heat areas or as a supplement
to electric baseboard heating
To keep your fireplace running efficiently,
regular maintenance is a must.
Equipment solutions
After space heating, your water heater is the second largest
s Install an energy-efficient showerhead
user of energy in your home. It pays to use hot water wisely!
(less than 11 litres/minute) which
Here are some simple tips on how to use hot water more
can reduce the amount of water you
efficiently without affecting comfort, cleanliness or safety:
use for showers by up to 50 percent.
s Insulate at least the first two meters of the hot water pipe
and the first meter of the cold water pipe running from the
tank, to reduce heat loss or gain and reduce pipe ‘sweating’
You’ll use less water and energy and
still enjoy hot, skin-tingling showers!
s Fix dripping taps immediately.
problems in the summer. For safety reasons, do not place
Replacing a worn washer (just
any pipe wrap insulation within 15 cm of the exhaust vent
pennies in cost) can save you up
at the top of the natural gas water heater. The two basic
to 800 litres monthly, at one drop
types of pipe insulation are wrap-around or slip-on,
of water per second
pre-formed foam. Both are easy to install and are available
at building supply stores
s Replace existing kitchen and bathroom
faucet aerators with energy-efficient
s Operating your water heater at unnecessarily high
temperatures increases energy consumption and shortens
tank life. It also increases the likelihood of scalds; this is of
particular concern for young children and seniors. In fact,
the building code requires the installation of a mixing valve
when installing a new water heater to ensure a maximum
delivery temperature at the fixture of 49°C. For existing water
heaters without a mixing valve be sure to set your water
ones (13 litres/minute)
s One-quarter of your hot water use is
for laundry. You can reduce that by
washing clothes in warm or cold water
and always rinsing in cold. Use the
water level controls, if your washing
machine has them
heater temperature no higher than 60°C. To reduce scalding
consider lowering the temperature to 54°C. You can test your
water temperature with a cooking thermometer held under
a running tap
How your energy dollar is spent*
Space heating and cooling
Water heating
Source: Ministry of Environment and Energy
*Based on an average of the three main fuels
over a year.
Equipment solutions
Exhaust fans
Here are some energy-saving tips for the efficient operation
of your exhaust fans:
s Check that your exhaust fans vent directly outside and not
simply into the attic. Are there special exhaust hoods or vents
on your roof, in your soffit or on the outside wall? Look in
To calculate the second price tag for
your attic – can you see where and how the ducting exits?
one year of operation – multiply the
Venting moist air into the attic can damage the attic wood
EnerGuide rating (kWh/yr) by local
and insulation
electricity rates (dollars/kWh).
s Replace exhaust covers if they are broken or rusted open
s Clean your kitchen fan filter periodically with soap and water
s Replace your bathroom exhaust fan’s on/off switch with a
timer switch or dehumidistat control. A timer switch allows
the exhaust fan to remove moisture for a set amount of time.
A dehumidistat control turns the exhaust fan on and off
automatically when prescribed relative humidity levels are
s If buying a new exhaust fan look for an ENERGY STAR®
qualified product which uses 65 percent less energy than
standard models. A more efficient blade design and motor
means they move more air with less noise, last longer and
cost less money to operate
s Clear the lint that gathers in the dryer’s exhaust cover on a
regular basis. The lint stops the exhaust cover from closing
properly. A properly closed exhaust cover prevents the cold
outside air from entering the dryer when it’s not being used
s Internal venting of electric dryers is not recommended.
Though you recover some heat, you gain excessive moisture,
odours, and lint. For safety reasons, natural gas dryers must
never be vented inside the home
For example, the EnerGuide label
shown here for a refrigerator model
indicates a yearly operating cost of:
582 kWh/year x $0.10/kWh =
$58.20 per year
Refrigerators are rated to function for
about 17 years, so the second price tag
would be: $58.20 x 17 years = $989.40
These calculations are to be used
only as an estimate for comparison
purposes. Since everyone uses their
appliances differently, your energy
use may not be exactly the same as
that indicated on the EnerGuide label.
Equipment solutions
Operating your appliances efficiently
s All of your appliances will work more efficiently if you keep
s Small appliances use about half the
them clean. For example, vacuum the coils at the back of the
wattage of an electric range, so use the
refrigerator and clean door seals, drip pans, and filters
smallest appliance available for the
s Full loads are most efficient, but overloading can result in dishes
and clothes that don’t come clean
s Avoid overloading your fridge with food, since air needs to
circulate in the compartment. Your freezer, on the other hand,
works best when kept nearly full
s Keep your appliances in good working order. A malfunctioning
appliance is energy inefficient
s After purchasing a new refrigerator, you may be tempted to put
the old fridge in the basement as a spare for overflow. Today’s
food you want to cook. For example, a
microwave oven, electric kettle, toaster
oven, and electric frying pan are more
efficient than your electric range
s If you’re going away for an extended
period of time, consider clearing out
the refrigerator and unplugging it (be
sure to prop the door open), turning
off the water heater, and unplugging
TVs with the instant-on feature
refrigerators/freezers are nearly three times more energy efficient
than those built 20 years ago. That spare fridge can cost you
between $120 to $150/year in electricity or more, depending on
its age! Consider only plugging it in for special events or getting
rid of it altogether. Check with your local electric utility for a
refrigerator removal program
Equipment solutions
Turning on energy-efficient lighting
Today’s market offers you a bewildering array of light
fixtures and bulbs. If you purchase and use energy-efficient
light bulbs, over the course of a year your savings will
2 Compact fluorescents
certainly add up – even though lighting constitutes only
You are probably familiar with the
six percent of your total monthly energy costs. But
standard long tube fluorescent ceiling
remember, the best energy-saving device for lighting is the
fixtures used in homes, stores and
switch! Turn lights off when not in use.
offices. The same technology has been
improved for energy efficiency and
When buying light bulbs, you probably think of watts as a
measure of brightness. In fact, the watt (W) is a measure of
light quality, and is packaged in a small
compact shape for use in lamps and
other lighting fixtures.
energy, not of light output. A 40-W bulb uses 40 watts of
There are a variety of wattages, shapes,
electricity, no matter what type of bulb it is. But the amount
and styles of compact fluorescents
of light it produces will vary, depending on the bulb type.
for different locations and uses in
Light output is measured in lumens.
1 Incandescent bulbs
throughout your home. They are considered to be energy
inefficient because they produce more heat than light. Some
incandescents have been made more efficient by reducing
the wattage (though there is a slightly reduced light output).
Look for these energy-saving replacement bulbs, which are
commonly available: a 34-W for a 40-W; a 52-W for a 60-W;
and a 90-W for a 100-W.
Although you may find incandescent bulbs with efficient
sounding names like ‘long life’ or ‘extended life’, they are not
Incandescent bulbs are the standard, familiar bulbs you use
energy efficient. They do have a longer life span because they
only produce about 70 percent of the light that they could,
A standard 40-W incandescent bulb
while using the same amount of energy as an equivalent
produces about 510 lumens, whereas a
wattage regular bulb. Incandescent bulbs are slated to be
40-W fluorescent tube produces about
banned from the Canadian market by the year 2012, making
2150 lumens – nearly five times as much
way for more efficient lighting choices.
light for the same amount of money!
Equipment solutions
your home. Although they are 70 percent more efficient than
incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer, because of their
initial cost, they should only replace those bulbs that are used
for a minimum of three hours/day.
Follow these steps to determine where and what kind of energyefficient lighting you should install for maximum benefit:
s Note which light fixtures are used for a minimum of three hours/
Look for compact fluorescent bulbs and
fixtures that carry the ENERGY STAR®
symbol to ensure you are purchasing
the most energy-efficient lighting products
on the market.
day. If certain lights aren’t used extensively each day they are
already very efficient
s Once identified, record what the light is used for (reading,
general room lighting); where the fixture is located (ceiling,
4 Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
table lamp, inside or outside); style and dimensions of the
fixture (space available for a new bulb); and the wattage of
The latest addition to efficient lighting
the existing incandescent bulb
is light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs
s When you take into consideration the amount of time the light
is used, the shape and style of the existing fixture, and the
function of the light, your home may have only eight to twelve
light fixtures which are appropriate for the new energy-efficient
compact fluorescents, halogens, and light emitting diode bulbs
3 Halogens
are commonly used for traffic signals,
exit signs, flashlights, and seasonal
light strings. They are just starting to
be developed for home lighting. LEDs
boast a 90 percent efficiency over
traditional lighting and have a much
longer lifespan. They are small in size,
When compared to incandescents, halogens produce a whiter
very durable, and produce an intense
light, last two to four times longer, and use about 40 percent
white light with very little waste heat.
less energy to produce the same amount of light; however,
However they are relatively expensive
they are slightly more expensive to purchase. They are a good
but this barrier will weaken as their
replacement for outdoor flood and spot lights. For example,
availability strengthens.
a 45-W PAR (parabolic aluminum reflector) halogen spot
light replaces a 75-W PAR incandescent spot light.
There is another type of halogen bulb, often called a low
The best energy-saving device for
lighting is the switch. Turn lights
off when not in use.
voltage or quartz, which requires a specifically designed
halogen fixture. This bulb provides a bright, white, focused
light suitable for highlighting art work or use as a desk lamp.
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