The following tips will help you reduce your energy costs and your consumption of drinking water:
The ideal temperature for a fridge is between 2 and 4°C, and -18°C for a freezer. Adjusting the temperature for these appliances is a way to reduce their power consumption by 5% per degree. A fridge set at 0°C consumes 20% more energy than one set at 4°C! And you'll save even more with a full fridge and freezer.
In the winter, heating is a household's main source of energy consumption. Increase the insulation of doors and windows to help reduce heat loss and heating bills by 5 to 10%.
Install a mechanical timer to limit the amount of time your lights are on. A 24-hour mechanical timer has two benefits: significant savings on your electrical bill and added security for your home when you're away.
A house that is not airtight can consume up to 15% more power annually. Adding insulation under electrical outlet and switch boxes will reduce drafts.
In the winter, heating is a household's main source of energy consumption. Better insulated doors and windows reduce heat loss and, as a result, help reduce heating costs by 5 to 10%.
Compact fluorescent bulbs use up to 75% less energy and last up to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. While they may be more expensive, their 10,000-hour lifespan makes them more economical in terms of bulb replacements.
To retain the heat in your hot water pipes, wrap them in a sheath of foam insulation. You can also use this insulation on cold water pipes to prevent condensation.
A leaking toilet can waste up to 550 litres of water a day! Place a pellet in the tank to determine whether you have a leak. If necessary, follow the instructions to stop the leak.
The toilet is one of the appliances in your house that uses the most water, amounting to approximately 30% of a home's water consumption. A Tank Bank will help save three litres of water every time you flush, which could cut your annual water consumption by up to 14,000 litres! And remember to toss your tissues into the brown bin so you'll flush less.
This type of showerhead reduces water and power consumption without any loss in jet pressure. A family of three can expect to save more than 30,400 litres of water annually, which comes to approximately 10,000 litres per person!
Replacing an older aerator with a low-flow model can reduce your water and power consumption by up to 55% at next to no cost. While you're at it, you might as well replace any leaky faucets! And remember to clean your aerators from time to time.
These little hourglasses let you see how long the shower has been running. It is generally recommended that they be set for five minutes, which will save tremendous amounts of water!
There is a lot to be said for urban agriculture. For one thing, it produces local foods, which means energy savings due to less transportation, as well as urban greening and beautification, which in turn means fewer heat islands and hence less air conditioning. Use the grow bag for herbs, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes or eggplants!
Keep reusable bags handy (in your purse, car, etc.) to replace single-use bags!
All of these items are available in better hardware stores!
For additional information, consult Quebec's ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune Web site at www.efficaciteenergetique.mrnf.gouv.qc.ca.
Recognized for its quality of life, Gatineau is a city of 291,000 inhabitants. It is located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, and extends east and west of the Gatineau River.