On a cold, blustery day, there’s nothing better than cozying up in a warm home. And while the temperature drop can mean more time spent indoors with loved ones, it can also result in a higher power bill.
When it comes to saving energy in the winter, there’s a lot of great information online about home upgrades and smart appliances—these are great changes, but they can also be expensive. We wanted to share simple, affordable tips that can help you make an impact and lower your energy use—and your power bill.
Lower your thermostat when you can.
It sounds simple, but it takes less energy to warm up a cold room in the morning than it does to maintain a constant temperature throughout the night. Make turning down the heat a part of your routine when you leave the house for the day or turn in at night.
If you have baseboard heaters, know that they supply heat to each room individually. If you have thermostats in separate rooms, you can use the concept of "zones" to heat certain areas of your home more than others, which saves up to 20% in heating usage compared to heating both occupied and unoccupied areas. Be sure not to vary the temperature between rooms by more than 2C.
Look through your house at the beginning and end of the day to make sure your heat use matches your room use. And don’t forget to close doors to rarely occupied rooms.
Seal windows and doors.
Can you feel a change in temperature when you stand next to your windows and doors? If you feel cold air coming in, it’s time to work on your insulation. This doesn’t mean replacing every window in your home—most hardware stores sell affordable window insulation kits, with tape to help you seal your windows and avoid air loss. Weather stripping, door snakes or foam tape can help seal your doors too.
Watch out for vampire electronics.
Did you know your electronics can suck up electricity even when they’re turned off? When you keep your electric devices like TVs and computers plugged in, they use standby power. Use a power bar to ensure your electronics are completely turned off when they’re not in use.
Switch to LEDs.
Sometimes the smallest changes can make a big impact. Residential LEDs use 75 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. Look at your home’s most frequently used light fixtures and consider making the switch. Not only are LEDs much more energy efficient—they last much longer too.
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