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Taking Action

What actions can I take to improve air quality at home?

  • Avoid using pesticides.
  • Avoid using gasoline or diesel powered equipment such as lawnmowers.
  • Adjust air-conditioner temperatures up slightly by one or two degrees
  • Use fans instead of air conditioners because they use less energy
  • Conduct a home energy audit to obtain information on the energy efficiency of your home.
  • Avoid using oil-based paints and solvents when possible.
  • Look for low emission engines when buying new lawn mowers, snow blowers and outboard motors.
  • If buying a wood stove, chose one that is EPA Certified or CSA Approved
  • Buy energy efficient appliances. The EnerGuide labels rate the energy efficiency of appliances. The lower the number or consumption rating, the less energy the appliance uses.
  • Replace an old oil or gas furnace with a high efficiency model. You can also replace your furnace-mounted humidifier with a water-efficient model, which will help you save water and energy.
  • Turn lights off when not needed and turn the furnace down when you leave the home and at night.

What actions can I take to improve air quality at work?

  • Carpool
  • Take transit, bike or walk to work
  • Reduce vehicle use by tele-working and tele-conferencing for meetings

What actions can I take to improve air quality on the road?

  • Use low sulphur fuel
  • When buying a new car, consider a fuel efficient model.
  • Keep your tires well inflated to increase gas mileage and reduce emissions of air pollutants. Under-inflated tires increase the amount of gas Canadians use by 400 million litres a year, costing $480 million (assuming $1.20/litre).
  • Keep your vehicle well tuned to reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%.
  • Don't idle your car. Idling your vehicle for as little as 10 minutes a day uses an average of 100 litres of gas a year. By turning your car off, you can save up to $120 a year assuming gas costs $1.20 a litre.
  • Use public transit. A full bus is equivalent to taking 40 cars off the road during rush hour traffic. It also saves 70,000 litres of fuel and avoids 9 tonnes of air pollution a day.
  • Avoid quick accelerations and quick stops as they increase fuel consumption.
  • Drive at the posted speed limit. Driving at 120 km/hr instead of 100 km/hr increases fuel consumption by approximately 20%.
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Revised: Wednesday July 15 2015

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