Beating the heat and staving off the cold

In Montreal, we live at the mercy of crazy climatic extremes. Our summers sizzle and our winters send us into a deep freeze. As a result, most of us spend more energy on heating and air conditioning than on anything else in our household. A few simple adjustments could help you reduce your energy consumption while saving you a few bucks along the way.

Thermostat Turn down the thermostat during the day when you are not at home. If you are leaving your home for an extended period of time in the winter, turn down the thermostat but keep the heating on. Water expands when frozen and can rupture pipes. Nothing worse than coming home from vacation to a flooded basement.

Windows and doors Insulate your windows and doors properly. You can save up to 30 per cent of your heating bill just by minimizing the amount of heat that escapes through your windows.

Air conditioners No need to chill the whole house on a hot summer night. Install a small air conditioner in your bedroom for those scorching nights. Turn it on 10 minutes before you go to bed and shut your door. When the room is sufficiently chilled, turn off the machine and keep the door shut to keep things cool while you sleep.

Water heater Heating water takes a large amount of energy. If you have access to your water heater, turn it down five to ten degrees.