Chill your utility bill this winter season. Keep the savings in and the cold air out of your home with these energy efficient tips.
*Gov’t of Canada
Space heating costs the average Canadian homeowner more than $1,113 a year – more than half of the home’s total energy bill (54%)! Between spending more time inside, keeping the lights on and combating cool drafts, it comes as no surprise that energy costs often increase during the winter months. What might be a surprise is there are many simple ways you can reduce energy costs when the cold weather hits. Warm up with these five simple steps to manage the cold weather and your wallet.
Get smart with your thermostat
Get the most out of your thermostat and use it to its full potential. For optimal energy saving temperatures, set your thermostat to 17°C when you are sleeping or not at home, and 20°C when you are awake and at home – and remember to layer up in warm comfy clothes instead of turning up the heat! If you don’t already have a smart thermostat, check out the benefits of making the switch to ENERGY STAR® certified smart thermostats, it can reduce your at-home energy consumption by at least 8%!
Invest in an EnerGuide home evaluation
An EnerGuide home evaluation can lead to greater comfort, bigger savings and a healthier home! Your personalized report can recommend upgrades to help eliminate drafts, reduce noise, provide consistent temperatures and cleaner air. Start by finding a service organization to schedule an appointment for your home evaluation.
Seal, caulk and weather-strip your home
Did you know that windows and doors can be responsible for up to 25% of total home heat loss? That may seem like an overwhelming statistic, but we have one simple solution – seal your windows and doors to draft-proof your home. Simply add caulking and weather-stripping where required to make your home more energy efficient and comfortable.
What’s the difference?
Caulking is used to prevent air leakage around windows by sealing gaps around the window trim with a continuous bead of caulking. There are different types of caulking for indoor and outdoor use, so be sure to use the appropriate caulking to meet your needs. It is important to note that outdoor caulking should only be done after indoor sealing is complete.
Weather-stripping works best for doors that are used often, or windows that open (sliding windows or swing-type (hinged) windows). Weather-stripping provides a good seal against air leaks even as doors warp from season to season. There are several different types of weather-stripping so be sure to use the appropriate type of weather-stripping for your home.
Install foam insulators
Installing foam insulators behind your light switches and electrical outlets on the exterior walls of your home will help reduce heat loss. It’s easy, inexpensive and will help make your home more energy efficient. Foam insulators can be found at your local hardware store in the electrical section.
Stay warm this winter by getting your furnace serviced yearly to maximize it’s efficiency. Remember to clean or change your furnace filters regularly as dirty filters cause your furnace to work harder. It’s also a good idea to make sure air vents are not blocked by furniture. If they are, a small amount of re-arranging away from vents will ensure air is circulating in your home and will keep your HVAC system is working effectively.
If you have a residential boiler and it uses a radiator, be sure to bleed the air from the radiators once or twice a year so that they can fill fully with water. Make sure to vacuum radiators to keep them running efficiently and prevent dust build-up.