How to save money and energy this winter

(NC) -- Most of the energy used by individual Ontarians goes to heating and cooling homes. During the long and cold winter heating season, there are a number of ways to cut back and save on bills. Enbridge Gas Distribution provides the following tips to save you a few dollars this New Year.:

In the kitchen

• Turn the oven off a few minutes before the cooking time is over. The heat remaining in the oven will finish the job.

• Only preheat the oven for baking – and then, only for about seven minutes. Most foods, such as roasts and casseroles, don't need a preheated oven to cook properly.

In the washroom

• Sing shorter songs in the shower. The average shower is about eight minutes. Try reducing to five or six.

• Install energy-efficient showerheads.

• The best temperature for your water heater is 54 degrees Celsius. That's hot enough for washing, showers and baths, and reduces the risk of scalding.

In the basement

• When you replace your old electric water heater, consider a tankless natural gas water heater as it heats water only as needed.

• Replace the furnace filter every three months (or clean a permanent one). When the filter is dirty, airflow is restricted and the furnace must work harder, requiring more energy.

• Keep vents and air returns free of obstructions. Furniture, dust, or pet hair can block vents, reducing airflow and the efficiency of the furnace.

In the family room

• If you have a wood-burning fireplace, keep the damper closed when not in use. This helps prevent cold outside air from coming down the flue and warm inside air rising out of it.

• If you purchase a natural gas fireplace, consider a direct vent model. It uses outside air for combustion instead of drawing air from the home.

For more ways to save energy and money in your home, visit


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