By far the biggest energy guzzler in your home is your A/C and heater. If you’re concerned with saving on your hydro bill, which can really add up over several months, then take note of the following tips that can leave more money in your wallet, without having to sacrifice your comfort.
1) Set your thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter. This is probably one of the most effective ways to create significant cost savings. When you go away on a trip, consider increasing the temperature a few degrees more in the summer (or turning it off completely), or lowering it a couple of degrees in the winter (don’t shut it off completely though, as this can cause frozen pipes). Better yet, update your thermostat to a programmable one, so if you’re out for most of the day, adjust it so the A/C or heater isn’t running at its maximum. And consider lowering the temperature around bedtime during the winter. Studies have shown that a few degrees cooler at night is more conducive to a restful sleep.
2) Consider investing in ceiling fans. Proper air circulation can help reduce the amount of A/C used.
3) Have your blinds and curtains partially or completely drawn in hot weather to prevent the sun from overheating your home, thereby reducing the A/C. In colder weather, open them all up to let the sun naturally warm up the home. But be careful, your home’s windows and insulation must be in working order for this to be effective.
4) Tune up your furnace or air conditioner annually. If running inefficiently, it can use up more energy than needed, leading to an increase in your electric bill.
5) Replace air filters. This again relates to the efficiency or lack thereof of running units. Better efficiency = less energy wasted.
Now, there are other big energy guzzlers in your home including your water heater, major appliances like your refrigerator, electric stove, washer and dryer, big or multiple electronic devices that are constantly on, and lighting, but if you at the very minimum reduce your A/C and heating consumption, you should see some improvement in your hydro bills. You can also contact your local electrician to inspect your home for any inefficiencies - that way you'll have a better idea of how to effectively save on your electric bills.