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15 No-cost Ways to Reduce your Energy Bills this Fall

Posted: October 28, 2016

A few savvy tweaks to your daily routine can help cut your hydro bill

  1. Ensure that all the vents around your home are clear before turning on the heat. Over the summer, outdoor vents can be clogged by vegetation and animals’ nests. Inside the home, furniture and other items may be blocking vents and floor registers and preventing your warm air from circulating effectively.
  2. Reserve dishwasher and laundry loads for off-peak hours. Off-peak electricity can cost less than half compared to on-peak rates. For example, in Ontario on-peak electricity costs 18 cents/kWh while the off-peak rates go for just 8 cents/kWh. Generally, electricity is cheaper after 7 p.m. and on weekends and holidays. Check with your local provider to get more accurate times for off-peak rates.
  3. Up to 90% of the energy you use for a load of laundry goes to heating the water. If you opt for cold washes, where possible, you can save on every load.
  4. Heating water for showers is expensive. For ever two people in your home who cut their showers by 1 minute a day, you can save $30 a year.
  5. Do you have a dripping hot water tap? That’s costing you up to $33 a year in energy alone. You can learn how to fix a leaking faucet here.
  6. Ditch the heat-dry setting on your dishwasher and save up to $37 annually. When your dishes are done, simply open the door to allow them to air dry or use a dishtowel to finish the job.
  7. Use your outside line to dry clothes; but, when you need to use your dryer, adding a towel can save you up to $27 a year.
  8. Lower the thermostat in your water heater to 120° F or 50° C.
  9. Older homes and condos are heated with radiators which need to be maintained. Air gets trapped in radiators and prevents them from getting hot. Bleed your radiators using the guide here to ensure that they are operating efficiently.
  10. Sediment collects at the bottom of your water heater. Draining it annually will help you to improve its efficiency. You can do it yourself using the guide here.
  11. Move your fridge away from the wall so that there is a small gap for air circulation. Keep your fridge as full as possible to reduce cooling costs.
  12. Vacuum the coils behind your fridge annually to keep it running optimally.
  13. When cooking, think about all the things you will need so you only open and close the fridge once.
  14. Close window drapes and blinds in the evening to keep heat in and open them in the day so the sunlight can heat your home.
  15. Keep your furnace and ducting well maintained. Giving your furnace an annual clean will help it to work better and last longer.