REDUCE HOME ENERGY USE by Deena Pantalone National Homes


Have you turned into your Parents or even Grandparents, constantly screaming to your family “Close the door! We aren’t cooling the whole neighbourhood!”? 

Don’t discount Nonna’s advice. Those old world ideas are still relevant today. By combining them with new world Smart Home Technology and sustainable building options at National Homes, you can keep your energy bills manageable and feel better about your own Greenprint.



Heating and AC make up almost 50% of your overall energy costs, so make sure to program your Smart Thermostat to make the best use of it. At minimum, turn AC off during peak hours. Check out our helpful tips to ensure your HVAC system is running efficiently. 

Nonna Tip: Use “Italian Air Conditioning”! Close the blinds to block the hot afternoon sun, which will reduce heat gain by up to 45%, and keep the windows open during cooler evening hours for natural ventilation.



Ensure your fridge is running smoothly by keeping it clean and ensuring seals are tight. Check the seal on your fridge/freezer by placing a piece of paper between the door seal and door. If the paper moves in and out easily, the seal needs replacing. Run the dishwasher only when it’s full, but don’t overfill it which is hard on your appliances. Consider skipping the dry cycle and open the dishwasher instead to let plates and glasses air dry. 

Nonna Tip: Cook outside! Big oven’s heat up the house, drain energy and are no fun to stand over on a hot day. So either fix a cold plate dinner or throw something on the grill and make the family happy. We always love the LCBO’s Food and Drink Magazine recipes.



By using cold water instead of hot you can save $152 per year. If you must use the dryer, do so in the cooler evenings so the AC won’t work as hard to make up for running hot appliances. And don’t forget to use off-peak hours for the best electricity rates too! 

Nonna Tip: Consider hanging your wet clothes or line drying those delicates. There is nothing quite like crisp cotton sheets freshly dried in the summer air.



You can stop yelling at the kids, because National’s Alexa Smart Switch program ensures your lights are on/off when you want them to be. The Panasonic Smart Bathroom Ventilation Fan kicks-in when it senses people and an increase in humidity in the room, saving energy.   

Nonna Tip: Let the sunshine in! Wherever possible just open the blinds and let the sun light your room. A single south-facing window can illuminate 20 to 100 times its area.




At National, we have Bright Ideas for helping you keep your water usage low. Our Alexa enabled Moen Smart Shower and Faucets reduce water loss by setting the temperature and pausing water flow until you need it. And we also build National Homes using drain water heat recovery pipes, which is a double-walled heat exchanger that captures the heat from your shower wastewater, which reduces your over water heating costs. 

Nonna Tip: Outside, consider a simple rain barrel system, connected to your existing downspout which can be used to water gardens, plants and lawns. 


We want to hear your best old-world recommendations for saving energy. Let us know in the comments! There are also a range of other energy monitors and apps that can connect with your National Home Family Centre, to help you track your energy usage, reduce your consumption and even alert you when there is a problem. By being smart about energy use, you’ll not only save money but you’ll be helping the planet. 

Be well and enjoy your home!