Winter Energy Conservation Tips - Residential

Photo of people in front of a fireplace

There is nothing more comforting than knowing you are toasty and warm in a well-heated home during the frigid cold winter months. Keep those chilly winter drafts out of your living space with these handy energy conservation tips.

Sign Up For High Electricity Usage Alerts in MyLondonHydro
High Usage Alert Photo

Enroll in MyLondonHydro and sign up for High Electricity Usage alerts, available in the Account Notifications section of your MyLondonHydro dashboard. You will be notified by email and/or text when your electricity usage surpasses your weekly threshold, which is set to two times your weekly average energy consumption. 

Eliminate Drafts In Your Home
Photo of person caulking window

Weatherstripping your windows and doors is a cost-effective way to ensure that the heat doesn’t escape your home along with your hard-earned money. Check for drafts by placing tissue paper close to the door or window crevice on all four sides of the frame. If the tissue starts to fly away, you may have a draft. 

Use caulk to seal cracks and crevices. A multitude of weatherstripping and caulking materials are available at your local hardware or supply store. It’s always a good idea to bring a sample of your current weatherstripping with you so you can get the right replacement from an expert.

Install Insulation
Photo of attic insulation

Insulating attics and basements properly can help your heating system operate at maximum efficiency and keep those areas dry. Proper insulation performed by an expert will go a long way when it comes to keeping your heat in your home and not allowing it to escape.

Close Doors and Vents in Unused Rooms
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Close the doors and vents of unused rooms to redirect the heated air into well-used areas to help your heating system operate more efficiently. 

Rely On Your Fans
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A ceiling fan draws minimal energy to warm a home. Ceiling fans only use 50 watts of energy on average while circulating air and helping your furnace or heating system not work overtime. It’s best to install ceiling fans in well-used rooms such as bedrooms, home offices or kitchens. Using the fans will allow you to set the thermostat a bit lower and use less energy in the long run as the fans push the warm air downward. 

Smart Thermostats
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A Smart Thermostat is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that automatically adjusts the heating/cooling temperature settings in your home. A smart thermostat will learn your energy patterns, such as which rooms you spend the most time in and adjust the temperature accordingly. Wi-fi-enabled thermostats allow you to control your thermostat remotely from the convenience of a smartphone.

Investing in a smart thermostat is a big decision as it can range in cost from $50-$600 and has to be compatible with your home’s heating and cooling systems. If you’re shopping for a smart thermostat, look for the Energy Star label. Energy Star-certified smart thermostats have gone through a rigorous testing process based on millions of customer data that ensure they help increase energy efficiency. 

Thermostat settings can be customized to suit your schedule. You can save as much as 10% a year by setting your thermostat back 7-10 degrees when you are away from home.

Use Cold Water to Wash Clothes
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Using a cold water wash and rinse cycle will ensure that you are using less energy to clean the laundry. Invest in cold water wash laundry detergents. 

Air Dry Dishes In Your Dishwasher
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Air drying your dishes after they have been washed in the dishwasher can save you up to 15% of the energy it would take to dry them through the dishwasher’s heated drying cycle. Open the dishwasher door after they are washed and let them dry naturally, or use the dishwasher’s “Air Dry” feature if it’s available.

Reduce Standby Power or "Phantom Load"
Photo of an energy saving power bar

All of those blinking, lighted gadgets and remotes that glow in the dark in standby mode are slowly drawing power that can account for 10% of your electricity bill. Consider plugging your standby gadgets into smart power bars with timers that you can shift to off-peak hours when electricity rates are cheaper. Unplug rarely used devices completely. 

Schedule a Furnace Maintenance Check and Regularly Change Your Filters
Photo of a person changing the furnace filter

Regularly changing your furnace filter ensures that it will operate at maximum efficiency, increase its life expectancy and help you lower your energy costs. Consider having it serviced yearly by a professional ahead of the winter season. 

Let the Sun In During the Day and Close Your Curtains and Blinds at Night
Photo of a family sitting in a sunny room

Winter is the one time of year when you can let the sunshine through your windows and warm your rooms naturally. As the sun sets, shut your blinds and curtains as a form of extra insulation to keep drafts and cooler air from entering and your heating system operating more efficiently. 

LED Holiday Lighting
Photo of holiday LED lights

Replace outdoor/indoor decorative lights with LEDs during the holiday season. LEDs don’t generate much heat, so there is minimal chance of combustion. Since they use 75% less energy than incandescent lights, you can leave them on longer. Attach a timer, so your lights run during off-peak hours when Time-of-Use rates are cheaper.

Energy Star Appliance Replacement 
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If you need a new appliance or they are in need of replacement, purchase a new Energy Star-certified appliance as it will reduce your energy consumption for years to come. Visit the Energy Star website for more information.

Insulate Hot Water Pipes 
Photo of hot water pipe insulation

Insulate your hot water pipes with heat-resistant pipe wrap insulation and keep the heat where you need it. Non-insulated water pipes reduce water heat by 2 to 4 degrees, causing your water heater to work harder. 

Additional Energy Conservation Resources