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Read: Five simple ways to save energy at home

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Daksha Rangan
Digital Reporter

Thursday, June 12, 2014, 3:51 PM -

Everyone should want to save energy. In addition to spending less, saving energy ensures that less harmful emissions are released into the environment. If every household did its part, the positive impact could be substantial.

Here are five simple ways to save energy at home.

1. Install a ceiling fan.

When a slight increase in temperature occurs, it’s a quick but costly fix to turn on the air conditioning. Ceiling fans can make a room feel cooler by up to 13 degrees Celsius while also providing heating during the colder months. When rotating counter-clockwise ceiling fans push warm air down from the ceiling, heating the room. The best part: they help reduce your household’s HVAC costs by up to 10 per cent.

2. Switch your light bulbs.

This is probably among the most affordable changes to make at home. One of Energy Star’s qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) can help save approximately $30 during its lifetime, and pay for itself in 6 months. Not to mention they use 75 per cent less energy and last almost 10 times longer than an incandescent light bulb.

3. Do laundry in cold water.

Switching from hot water to cold for two loads of laundry per week can save almost 500 pounds of CO2 annually with an electric water heater, and 150 pounds for a gas heater.

4. Install low-flow toilets.

Toilets are the biggest water users in an average household, consuming about 30 to 40 per cent of the total water used at home. Using a low-flow toilet can reduce an average usage of two gallons-per-flush. This can save a total of 12,000 gallons of water per year. Low-flow toilets consume 1.6 gallons of water, instead of the standard 3.5 gallons.

5. Unplug any appliances or electronics that are not in use.

Many electronics use standby power, also known as vampire electricity. This means that the devices are using energy while plugged in, even when turned off. In the U.S., an average household spends $100 per year powering devices that are turned off.

A great way to monitor your energy consumption is through a home energy audit. The Government of Ontario helps fund these audits, along with any related additions to improve energy efficiency at home. To find out more, contact the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure at www.moi.gov.on.ca or or by calling 1-888-668-4636.

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