October 14, 2018 11:00 pm

Ways to make your home more energy efficient this winter, and save money in the process

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Canadians spend a lot on energy. According to Statistics Canada, households across the country consumed 1.3 million terajoules of energy in 2015. And that’s a lot of money.

A study conducted by the Fraser Institute shows that Torontonians pay the most for energy, with an average bill of $201 per month. That’s $60 more than the national average.

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At the same time, Environics Research recently polled Canadians and discovered that 78 per cent of respondents were looking at upgrading their homes to save energy.

If you’re part of that majority, know that reducing your home’s energy bill is easier than you might think. Whether you heat yours using electricity, propane or natural gas, here are a few ways to make everything more efficient (presented in partnership with Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling).

Give your home a checkup

We get regular health checkups and your home should as well.

Regularly inspect your heating and cooling system to make sure it’s in good condition and functioning safely.

Experts recommend checking to see that pumps or fans are properly lubricated and vents are clear of debris.

Review and replace any non-energy efficient appliances

Environics Research found that 88 per cent of Canadian homeowners were interested in purchasing more efficient appliances.

Replacing an older model for a newer one takes into consideration that they were specifically designed to better utilize minimum energy to complete the required task. An energy-efficient appliance can literally do more with less — saving both energy and money over time.

Look for an Energy Star symbol on the products you buy. It’s an internationally recognized logo that certifies something is efficient.

Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling

Update your windows

It’s reported that 30 per cent of a home’s energy is lost through windows.

Prevent heat from escaping by installing caulking or foam weather-stripping on the windows and doors in your house to help insulate areas and keep your house comfortable.

If you are thinking about updating your existing windows, first check them for leaks and consider adding treatments or covering. Properly hung drapes can reduce heat loss by about 25 per cent, the U.S. Department of Energy notes.

Make the switch to heat pump technology

Environics also noted that 78 per cent of Canadians polled were considering making a switch to more efficient heating and cooling systems. Energy-efficient heating and cooling technology, such as Mitsubishi Electric’s ductless and ducted systems, feature advanced heat pump technology that focuses on heating and cooling individual rooms and living spaces to reduce power consumption.

According to a recent study by Natural Resources Canada, heat pump technology can be an efficient way to cut your heating bill in half. Selecting the heat pump solution that’s right for your home can bring optimal comfort and consistent temperatures — all while saving energy during the cooler months.

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Take advantage of natural light and heat

Open window curtains in the daytime to let the sun in and warm your home using ambient light and heat. At night, close your curtains to trap in the heat.

In addition, consider a simple step such as turning the thermostat down several degrees so you can turn up your savings. Think about bundling up with extra clothing layers and using warmer bedding in the home to save on your energy bill.

Investing in home improvements will help you save on heating and cooling costs. This includes upgrading your traditional heating and cooling system to a more modern heat pump system to save on energy costs. Learn more about Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling here.

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