Fall days in Canada can be balmy, but the locals know the bitter cold is not far behind. Thanks to its location in the northern hemisphere, winter can be harsh. Now is the time to prepare, and if you take the right measures, you’ll save significantly on your energy bill and be warm and toasty. Use the following ways to save energy if you live in a colder area.
1. Add Attic Insulation
If you check out your attic’s insulation, you may find it’s not adequate, especially if your home is older. Find out what the minimum measure is for your area online or by asking a local building department. If you determine more is needed, use loose-fill instead of fiberglass batts. Loose-fill lets you get into crevices and cover joists.
2. Install Storm Windows
Low-efficiency windows will allow up to 30 percent of your heat to escape. If your windows are single-pane, upgrading to storm windows will be one of the best cost-effective improvements you can make. You’ll save as much as 14 percent on your heating bill. The new and improved ones can be left up all year.
3. Maintain Your Heating System
No matter what type of heating system you have, a properly functioning one will save on energy costs. Replace furnace filters once a month, regularly clean the flue vent on wood and pellet-burning heaters, and have an HVAC tune-up. Energy providers in Alberta, Canada can advise you on maintaining your heating system.
4. Switch to a Smarter Thermostat
Investing in a programmable thermostat is an easy and inexpensive way to save on energy any time of the year, especially during the winter in colder areas. Switch today and save up to 12 percent on your energy costs with this simple upgrade.
5. Check and Seal Drafts
Don’t let winter’s chill seep in around windows, under doors, or through cracks and crevices. Invest in an infrared thermometer or thermal leak detector to identify cold spots. Install weather stripping accordingly. Purchase one online or at a home improvement center.
6. Upgrade Your Fireplace
A crackling fire is cozy on cold nights, but your fireplace may be robbing you of warm air. If yours has an outside cold air intake, make sure it’s equipped with an airtight door with gaskets. For fireplaces that use inside air for combustion, install a door with operable vents and keep them open when you have a fire going to prevent heat loss.
7. Stay Warm with a Space Heater
Do you really need to heat every room in your house? Portable space heaters are a good way to warm up the room where the family spends the most time. This will allow you to lower the thermostat and still stay warm. Be sure to close the doors to unused rooms.
8. Switch Out Older Light Bulbs
Newer LED light bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than the old incandescents. If you haven’t switched out your lightbulbs yet, now is the time to do it. And since the holidays happen in the winter in colder regions, use LED holiday lights as well.
9. Consider Better Energy Alternatives
The time is upon us to turn our thoughts to renewable energy sources as we begin to turn away from non-renewable fossil fuels. Explore the possibilities of better energy alternatives. Wind and hydroelectric power use differential heating of the surface of the earth from the sun which causes wind. Solar panels or collectors convert sunlight into energy. Stored sunlight in plants produces biomass energy. Geothermal energy uses radioactive decay in the earth’s crust. For now, open up your blinds and drapes on sunny days and let a little solar power warm you.
10. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
If your home has ceiling fans, put them to work in winter by reversing the blades to a clockwise rotation. Since warm air rises, this reverse rotation can help push warmth back down and help save on your heating costs.
11. Purchase Heavier Drapes
Heavier drapes can compensate for heat loss through windows and sliding glass patio doors. They’re easy to install, and quilted drapes come in a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns. They can be opened on sunny days and closed at night.
Energy providers in Alberta, Canada and these energy-saving tips are your resources for saving energy in colder regions.