With the cold weather approaching, it’s time to put away the sunscreen and start thinking of ways to stay warm! Often, the return of fall means the return of chilly evenings, morning frost, and heating costs. While it may not mean the end of energy bills, there are several ways you can prepare for colder weather. Save money and live greener with these helpful tips!
1. Seal up leaks
If there are cracks around your windows or doors, you could be losing up to 20% of your heating costs! Poorly insulated windows or unsealed doors allow precious heat to simply float through and out of your house. Try testing your windows for problems, and consider investing in energy-efficient windows. As a cheaper alternative, look for plastic insulation at stores like rona or home hardware. Plastic insulation helps keep warm air in, and is super easy to install yourself!
2. Check your furnace
Keeping your furnace well maintained is always a good idea. Plus, by cleaning your furnace filter every 3 months, you can really reduce your heating costs! Replace the filter every once in a while to keep it working smoothly. As with anything else, no furnace lasts forever. If your furnace is more than 17 years old, consider replacing it! The potential replacement cost is greatly offset when you consider the fact that a furnace that old is likely only operating at 60 percent efficiency!
3. Don’t forget the exterior
You can check the exterior of your home yourself, or hire a professional to do it. Certain things, like checking for cracks and holes in the siding of your house, are quite easy to do yourself. Others, such as inspecting the roof or closing the pool, may not always be so simple. Inspecting around vents for critter openings or other damage is also a good idea. Don’t forget to cover your outdoor air conditioning unit, if needed.
4. Invest in a programmable thermostat
Whenever possible, it is an excellent idea to give your furnace a break. Buying a programmable thermostat allows you to cut back on heating costs during hours when no one is even home, or in the middle of the night. Let’s face it, you’re unlikely to miss the heat when you’re already safely ensconced beneath a thick, cozy duvet! Plus, you can save between 3 to 5 percent on heating costs this way.
Final Tips For fall
○Make sure that garage, basement, and other doors remain closed at all times
○Try allowing dishes to air dry, rather than using the wasteful drying cycle on your dishwasher (useful year-round)
○Buy an insulating cover for your water heater and pipes
○Empty and store rain barrels!