Temperatures have dropped, leaves have fallen, holiday music is playing everywhere, and the city has begun to light up in festive colours - it’s all a sure sign that winter is on its way. Amidst holiday planning, it’s easy to forget the energy efficiency changes you can make for a winter-ready home. Thankfully, small changes can make a big difference to your electricity bill - and who doesn’t like some savings during this already expensive time of year? Here are 6 simple ways you can make that happen before winter officially sets in:
1. Give your furnace a little TLC
Murphy’s Law will get you on this one if you forget - and nobody wants a furnace problem when the temperatures fall to -30°C. Now’s a good time to have your furnace serviced to ensure it is operating smoothly and efficiently - and remember to clean or replace your furnace filter on a regular basis. These are important habits to prevent build-up of dust and dirt and keep the furnace running at optimal energy efficiency.
In the market to replace your furnace? Be sure to look for an energy-efficient model.
2. Program your thermostat
Program your thermostat for winter - and if you don’t already have one, consider buying a smart thermostat for yourself as a holiday gift to help reap ongoing energy savings. As for how to program it, our recommended settings are 20°C when you are home and 18°C overnight or when you're away.
3. Check windows and doors for drafts
It’s easy to check your door for leaks: close the door on a piece of paper; if it slides out easily, you need to reseal your door.
Check windows by looking for daylight or drafts coming from around the frame. Use caulking or weatherstripping to seal any leaks.
4. Switch ceiling fans to run clockwise
In the winter, set your ceiling fan to run at a low speed, in a clockwise direction. This will gently circulate warm air near the ceiling down into occupied spaces.
5. Wrap your water heater
Forget wrapping gifts; wrap your electric water heater this season! Just maybe not in gift wrap, as fun as that might look. For this kind of wrapping, you can purchase an electric water heater blanket, which can reduce energy loss by up to 40 per cent.
6. Ditch the old holiday lights
Not only do LED holiday lights use less electricity, they are also much safer than incandescent bulbs since they don’t heat up. Plus, they’re easy on the wallet and the environment since they’ll last for as many as 40 holiday seasons! For even more savings, use an outlet timer to automate when your lights should go on and off.
Looking for more ways to save energy year round? Check out these 65 tips to manage your energy use at home.