Winter in Calgary comes with some specific energy considerations. For every 10-degree drop below 0°C the average home uses 40 per cent more natural gas and 8 per cent more electricity. We can’t control the weather, but we can take a few minutes to try some easy ways to increase energy efficiency in our homes. Here’s seven suggestions to power down your home.
Use timers for block heaters and holiday lights
‘Tis the season for twinkling lights and plugging in cars. In general, block heaters aren’t required until temps hit -15°C. When that happens, use a timer to turn on your car’s block heater two to four hours before you need to use your vehicle. Likewise, set a timer for your holiday lights so they shine bright when you enjoy them and turn off when no one is looking.
Set your thermostat
Heating can make up 63 per cent of home energy use – even a difference of two degrees (from 20°C to 22°C) can add up. On cold days, it might be tempting to set your thermostat high, but your home won’t heat up quicker.
Use that air fryer
Air fryers are roughly 50 per cent more energy efficient than electric ovens and 35 per cent more energy efficient than a natural gas oven. If you didn’t get one at the holiday sales last year, this is your excuse to get one this year!
Do a quick scan of your fridge
To run as efficiently as possible, set your refrigerator’s temperature between 1.7°C and 3.3°C and the freezer at -18°C . Clean around your fridge. Removing dust from the coils helps air circulate making your fridge more efficient.
Seal out cold drafts
Closing gaps around windows and adding weather stripping around exterior doors can save up to 30 per cent of the heat your home uses. Add gaskets to electrical outlets. (Those are the covers that go around your switches and plugs.) And, check your chimney as well as dryer and fan vents to make sure heat isn’t escaping.
Use your lights right
Lighting can account for up to 10 per cent of your electricity costs. When your bulbs burn out, replace them with EnergyStar® certified LED bulbs. They use 90 per cent less energy than older lightbulbs with filaments. Turn off lights when you aren’t using them. Use a lamp for reading or hobbies to illuminate the space instead of the whole room.
Throw in a towel for laundry
Clothes dry faster when you toss a clean, dry towel into the dryer with them. Increasing the spin time on your wash cycle can also reduce drying time. During the wash cycle, use cold water – heating water can be 90 per cent of the energy used for laundry.
Learn more about your home electricity and natural gas options, including competitive rate choices, referral credits and the equalized payment plan at easymax.ca.
Customers are free to purchase natural gas services or electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).
ENMAX Energy cannot guarantee a customer’s ability to use their energy more efficiently or reduce their energy bills. A customer’s ability to use their energy more efficiently depends on a number of factors including, but not limited to, household/structure, energy consumption, efficiency of household/structure, efficiency of appliances, weather conditions, the ability to take advantage of the foregoing, and other factors that may impact the customer’s ability to use their energy more efficiently. Undertaking the foregoing tips may not reduce a customer’s energy bill. ENMAX Energy cannot guarantee any savings.
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