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Tips and advice to reduce your energy consumption

Enhancing your energy performance by consuming less is easier than you might think! More often than not, we associate energy performance with major energy equipment upgrades or renovations. In fact, you can start saving energy and lower your bill by following a few basic tips.

Ever wonder why your energy bill goes up in winter?

Is it totally normal for your energy bill to be higher in winter. Watch this video to find out why and get tips for keeping heating costs down even during deep freezes.

Space heating

To help reduce energy loss, here are some things to do to maintain and program your heating appliances.

Install a smart thermostat

This device offers better control over heating periods and temperature settings. Much more accurate than conventional models, smart thermostats greatly reduce temperature fluctuations, providing greater comfort. They also provide energy savings of 7% to 10%.

  • During the week, reduce the temperature at night and when no one is home.
  • On weekends between 6 am and 11 pm, you can maintain a temperature of 20°C for greater comfort. In the summer, turn up the thermostat to avoid overcooling your home.

Regular preventive maintenance

Ideally performed by qualified technicians , annual maintenance of your heating equipment extends its service life and lowers your energy consumption by ensuring proper functioning and efficiency. Have the inside and outside of the exhaust shaft inspected occasionally as well for any signs of deterioration due to condensation or corrosion.

Ceiling (destratification) fans

Cold air and warm air have different densities above ground, and if they are not mechanically mixed in some way, they will produce stratification (ie different layers of temperature). Warm air rises and reaches the highest temperature near the ceiling, especially in rooms with high ceilings. Installing ceiling fans of a minimum clearance of 8 ft. gold 2.43 m. to redistribute warm air is a budget-friendly solution.

Eliminate obstacles

If you have a forced-air system, remove any obstacles in ducts, registers and cold-air return registers so that the air can circulate freely and efficiently throughout the system.

Look for hot spots

If you have a hot-water heating system, look for hot spots on the boiler wall and hot-water distribution pipe to identify insulation gaps. Remember, if it's too hot to touch, you are losing a lot of heat. Also check pumps and valves for water leakage.

Optimize water heating

Here are some tips to minimize energy losses caused by the heating of the water.

Insulate pipes
Insulate hot-water pipes, especially pipes that run through unheated areas. Use insulating tape or foam, plastic or fiberglass tubes which, when slit lengthwise, fit snugly around the pipe and can even be permanently glued.

Lower hot water temperature and reduce the flow

  • Lower the temperature of the hot-water heater thermostat to 60°C (140°F).
  • Set up flow restrictors and efficient showerheads to reduce hot water consumption.

During an 11-minute shower, without a flow restrictor, you consume an average of 125 liters (27.4 gallons) of water. A flow restrictor can significantly reduce consumption to 77 liters (16.9 gallons), a saving of about 48 liters (10.6 gallons) per shower.

Building Shell

Imagine that your home is a boat or hot air balloon. Any leak you find must be plugged. It's really the same with houses. As warm air migrates to the coldest areas, (ex. outside air) it seeps through walls, roofs, cracks, doors and windows, so it is important to know how to prevent heat loss.

Although reinsulating an existing building is not usually cost-effective, a major renovation may provide a good opportunity to enhance the insulation. Poorly insulated but accessible roof spaces are one example.

Window liners
Adding a layer of selective plastic film to your windowpane will significantly block infrared rays from passing through the window and prevent heat from entering or exiting through radiation. Installed on ordinary glass, selective film can nearly double the resistance of single-glazed windows. Liners let you avoid the high cost of changing single-glazed windows to double-glazed windows.

Replace your windows
If any of your windows are single-glazed, it would be a good idea to replace them with double or triple-glazed windows.

  • Do not confuse double glazing with sealed double-glazed windows. The latter are made up of two panes separated by very dry air or a low conductivity gas that is thoroughly sealed by a caulking system and locked into the same frame. These windows also eliminate condensation between panes of glass.
  • Sealed double glazing will cost you more but will be twice as efficient as regular double glazing. Sealed triple glazing will be four times more efficient than regular double glazing.
  • A low transmission pane is coated with a thin, almost invisible film, which reduces heat loss, reflects outside heat in the summer and blocks UV rays that make the color of your drapes, carpets and furniture fade. The best type of pane currently available includes a sealed-in gas such as argon.

Replace your doors
Replace your hollow outside doors with insulated doors. Touch the inside of your door. If the surface is colder than that of your inside walls, replace it with a better insulated door.

Clean your sliding doors
Clean the tracks of your sliding doors. Dust and debris of all kinds can force your doors out of alignment and let outside air in. Replace your doors

Service life of your equipment

Have your appliances spent many years "in service"? To save even more, perhaps it's time to replace them by new high energy-efficient ones.

If you're thinking of changing your space heating equipment, ask your contractor about the energy efficiency of your appliances. Efficiency is usually expressed in terms of annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) for furnaces, and in terms of combustion efficiency for boilers. The higher the energy output rating, the more efficient the equipment as the less energy it consumes.

Grants for replacing a warm air furnace
Grants for replacing a hot water boiler

Have your appliances been around 

for many years?

To save even more, perhaps it's time to replace them by new high energy-efficient ones. Take advantage of grants available to upgrade your equipment.

See grants