Using a ceiling fan can help your air conditioner work more efficiently. In the summer, the blades move the air downwards to help circulate cool air. ENERGY STAR certified ceiling fans use 50% less energy than standard fans.
If you haven’t yet changed your old bulbs to new LEDs (light emitting diode), there’s no time like the present. LEDs use up to 90% less power and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs (those with a wire filament). They are reliable, high-quality and long-lasting. LEDs are now available in many shapes to fit a range of light fixtures and in colours that create the mood and warm glow that many people enjoy.
Timers and motion sensors can save electricity and money by shutting off the lights automatically when people leave the room. They can also provide security by lighting hallways and garages when in use (and will turn off again when they aren't needed).
Ideally suited for computer workstations or home theatre systems, these power bars shut off power to electronic products typically left on or in stand-by mode. Even in stand-by mode, these electronic devices consume a significant amount of electricity, often referred to as 'phantom power'.
If there are specific times throughout the day and night when a group of devices won't need power, plug them into a power bar with a built-in timer for additional savings. Reducing the use of phantom power can reduce energy use by 10%.
Use a clothesline or outdoor umbrella stand to dry your clothes instead of using electricity to run the dryer. In the summer, using outdoor clotheslines can reduce heat gain in the home and that means less work for your air conditioner. Enjoy fresh smelling clothes and less wear on them, too. In 2007, the Province of Ontario passed a law allowing the use of outdoor clotheslines in all neighbourhoods.
With as much as 30% of an average home’s summer electricity bill going towards central cooling costs, it makes sense to consider the energy-efficiency of your furnace and central air conditioning units.