Winter packs a punch in Canada. The cold temperatures, shorter daylight hours and wind drive up energy consumption and, with that, our winter energy bills can skyrocket.
These simple tips can help keep your house warm and your monthly bills in check.
Regular Furnace Maintenance
If you take good care of your home comfort equipment, it will take good care of you. Regular maintenance can spot potential trouble before it starts, and can help extend the life of your equipment in addition to lowering your monthly energy bill.
A simple furnace tune-up can save three per cent to ten per cent on your next heating bill
If you want to take your home maintenance one step further, consider subscribing to a home maintenance plan. With Direct Energy here in Alberta you can even get a maintenance plan for just $9.99/month to ensure that your HVAC equipment is always in peak condition and you don’t get hit with unexpected costs.
Lights off when not in use
It’s a simple habit to learn and it can save you a lot of money. Any room that is not occupied should have the lights turned off. Develop the habit of turning off the lights when you leave a room (even if you’ll be coming back shortly).
Another good tip for lights is to try to use the same room to save on electricity. At the end of the day, if your family retreats to four different rooms, that is four times the electricity you are using. When possible, try using the same room.
Let the sun shine in
Curtains on south-facing windows should be opened during the day to let the heat from the sun into the house. The heat is free and can keep your furnace from coming on unnecessarily during the day.
Use your ceiling fans
Ceiling fans are used during both summer and winter months. In the summer, they are used to cool the room and circulate air. During the winter months, use the ‘reverse’ feature to push the warm air back down into the room.
Consider an upgrade
Various changes around the house can help to lower your energy costs. If your bills are high, take at an upgrade on these items:
- Water heater: a tankless water heater can reduce your costs by almost 30% because it only heats water when needed.
- Doors: If your exterior door feels colder than your inside walls, then it’s time to upgrade to one that is better insulated. Also check the seals arpund your doors to make sure they don’t need to be replaced (this is an easy fix and most hardware stores carry everything you need to seal your doors back up).
- Windows: If you live in an older house, you may have single, or low-efficiency double pane windows. Look into upgrading to newer double to triple pane windows. If this is an investment you can’t make, you can seal your windows with a plastic kit found in most hardware stores.
Try a humidifier
The amount of humidity inside your home determines how much heat the air can hold. If you have low humidity, your furnace has to work to keep the heat levels at an acceptable level. A humidifier will help to keep the humidity at a certain level so that you are comfortable and your furnace doesn’t need to come on as much.
Before cranking the heat up, make sure everyone is wearing socks, warm pants and sweaters. Use blankets to keep warm and dress in layers so you can remove and add clothing if you become too cold or hot.
Thank you to Direct Energy for assisting with and sponsoring this post. Direct Energy is committed to helping Albertans save on energy. As Albertans brace themselves for another long, cold winter, Direct Energy is eager to provide homeowners with simple steps they can implement to reduce their energy bills and save in the long run.