EDMONTON – As much as many Canadians don’t want to face it, winter is on its way.
As the temperature outside starts to get colder, many people will head straight for the thermostat to keep their homes nice and warm. But pumping up the heat isn’t always easy on the pocketbook.
Here are five practical ways to winterize your home while saving money and reducing your environmental footprint. The tips have been provided by EPCOR, one of Alberta’s major electricity and water suppliers.
Lower the thermostat
Set your thermostat 3°C lower while you’re sleeping and away from the home. Doing this can reduce your household greenhouse gas emissions by half a tonne, according to EPCOR.
For every 1°C (34°F) you lower your thermostat at night or while you’re away — for a minimum of eight hours — you will save up to two per cent on your heating bill.
Check the furnace filter
Clean your furnace filter every month and replace it every three months. In addition, furnaces should be checked and serviced each year before the start of the heating season.
READ MORE: What you need to know about furnace filters
Use halogen light bulbs
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The light bulbs you choose make a huge difference when it comes to how much energy you use. EPCOR suggests replacing traditional light bulbs with halogen bulbs because halogen lighting uses up to 40 per cent less energy than traditional bulbs.
Check windows and doors for air leaks
Check all windows, doors, light switches and electrical outlets for air leaks. You can do this by holding a tissue over each to see if there is a leak. If the tissue flutters, EPCOR suggests upgrading the caulking, weather stripping or – in the case of switches and outlets- take off the cover and install specifically designed gaskets to cut down on cold air getting into the house.
Open blinds or drapes on sunny days
While the weather outside might be frightful, the sun still carries a lot of heat over the winter months. So open the blinds and bask in the free heat. But be sure to close them as soon as the sun goes down to keep warm air in the room.
See the document below for more helpful tips on how to get your home prepared for winter.