Is your home ready for Winter?

winter sweaterWith the chilly temps settling in, you may be noticing your energy bills beginning to creep up. Here are a few tips to help you get your home ready for winter- with an eye towards energy savings.

Get out your favourite sweater

Turning that thermostat down even a few degrees can mean big savings in terms of your energy bill. As the snow flies, snuggle in with your favourite sweater and blankie.

Infinitely more cozy than a huge energy bill.

Dodge that draught

Check seals around windows and doors to make sure that there are no escape routes in and out of the house. After all, (as I’ve said to my kids many times) you’re not paying to heat the outdoors.

A little bit of extra caulk around windows and doors can make the difference between a monster bill and a manageable bill.

Service the furnace

You get your car serviced now and then to make sure that it is running in tip top shape (which can also mean getting the most efficient use of your gas mileage).

The same principle applies with your home heating. Make sure your furnace is running to its optimum. Change filters to make sure that air is flowing freely.

Watch the clock

Although this is a year-round strategy (and it depends on where you live) make sure you are not using energy for things like running the dishwasher and laundry during peak energy hours, when you are charged a hefty premium.

In Ontario, you are looking at paying double for energy use during peak times (between 7-11am and 5-7pm).  I always set my dishwasher to run on a timer overnight (when energy is cheapest) and throw a load of wash in the early morning and into the dryer in the late evening.

It’s about setting up an energy-conscious habit.

Turn down the water heater

I’m not suggesting a cold shower (can you imagine anything worse in January), but turning your hot water tank down just a little bit can add up to savings.

Bonus- if it is cooler, you will be less tempted to linger in the shower, also saving energy.