Power Smart heating & cooling tips

Be Power Smart around your home to make it more comfortable and to save energy. Here are some small changes that you can make to improve the temperature of your home:

  • Caulk and seal gaps to prevent air leakage:
    • 30 to 50 per cent of air leakage gets in underneath the baseboards and through the wall outlets.
    • 20 per cent of air leakage gets in through holes where plumbing pipes and telephone wires enter the house and other gaps.
    • Read more about insulation and air sealing.
  • Turn down the heat in rooms you don’t use often.
  • Install a programmable or smart thermostat and reduce your home temperature by 3°C for at least 8 hours a day to save 3 to 4 per cent on heating costs. Program your thermostat to lower the heat while you’re sleeping or out, and to raise it before you wake up or get home. Adjust the settings in the summer to save on air conditioning too.
  • Be aware that some homes experience problems like burst water pipes (even when the temperature is left at a comfortable setting), so be cautious when setting back your temperature for the first time. Lower the temperature gradually during colder weather to ensure that your home does not experience any problems.
  • If you have a fireplace, you could be losing heat when air flows through the chimney. Talk to your chimney sweep for ways to reduce air flow when the fireplace is not in use.
  • Change your furnace filter frequently during winter and it will burn cleaner and use less energy. Keep floor and wall registers clean to encourage airflow.
  • Plant shrubs and trees around your house to shade your windows in summer and help protect your house from chilly winds in winter.
    • Pay attention to blossoms and seeds. Cottonwood trees release seedpods in the spring that float around like masses of fluffy cotton. They can quickly clog an AC unit.
  • In summer, keep your windows closed and shades or curtains tightly drawn on the sunny side of your house. In winter, save energy by opening your shades in the morning on the eastern and southern sides of your house, and closing them late in the day.
  • A well-maintained air conditioning unit will operate efficiently, cool your home faster, and last longer without costly repairs.
    • If you’ve covered your outdoor AC unit to protect it over the winter, be sure to remove any lids, covers, or blankets.
    • Clean your AC unit periodically. Brush or vacuum away any leaves, branches, grass, or debris that might have blown into the unit.