With winter bringing us long nights, stormy weather, and cooler temperatures, it’s no surprise that our energy consumption in all parts of our home begins to increase at this time of year. While 82% of Canadian households already practice one energy-saving habit at home, many still believe that saving energy means living in the dark and shivering in three sweaters with a hot water bottle. Luckily, this isn’t the case!
Want to save energy and money, without sacrificing your home comforts? Read on to learn a few of our favourite energy-saving tips for the winter season!
1. Change your holiday cooking habits
Did you know that 20% of the heat in an oven escapes as soon as you open the door? Small habit changes—like only opening the oven when necessary to check on your turkey, or air drying dishes in the dishwasher instead of heat drying them—can save energy and make a big difference in educing the size of your energy bill every month.
A recent epiphany for us is that your microwave can cook many more dishes than you’d imagine—almost anything is possible, from sides like potatoes, rice, and yams to vegetables like brussels sprouts. The next time you’re about to turn on the oven or stove, think about using your microwave or even your toaster oven instead. You might just shave a few dollars off your energy bill!
2. Check your lights—all of them!
The way we light our homes in the winter can greatly impact how much energy we consume. The next time a light burns out in your home, take a look and see if there is an LED equivalent for it—these types of bulbs use up to 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lights. This applies to regular bulbs that go in light fixtures like lamps, but also to holiday string lights, which many Canadians are now unpacking for the holidays.
Pro tip: using smaller lighting fixtures like table lamps, string lights, or under counter lights instead of larger ones like ceiling lights will save energy too!
Remember, you can recycle burnt out light bulbs in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Prince Edward Island. Fixtures like string lights, floor lamps and chandeliers are also recyclable in British Columbia. Use our Recycling Locator tool to find a location that accepts them near you.
3. Do away with the dryer
If you heat your home in winter, chances are it will be warm enough to air dry your clothing, too! We recommend using a drying rack if you have one—if not, hanging clothing on doorframes and along shower curtain rods will also do the trick.
If you need your clothes dry in a rush, there are many other ways you can green your laundry routine, like using dryer balls to reduce drying time, not overloading your dryer with clothing, running full loads, and washing in cold water (90% of energy spent operating your washing machine comes from heating the water!).