Life in Canada has its perks, but energy bills certainly isn't one of them. Every year Canadian residents pay through their teeth just to keep their homes warm, but high energy bills seem to just come with the territory when you live this far North. What if there was a way to reduce some of those costs without sacrificing comfort? These 6 simple tips can, over time, help to reduce your winter and year round energy costs.
1. Close Your Flu!
A fireplace is a great way to stay warm in the winter, but one of the most overlooked energy saving strategies is to make sure that your flu is closed when you're not having a fire. An open flu turns your chimney into a vent allowing warm air to escape and cold air in. So unless you want to use your fireplace as a mid winter air conditioner remember to close it up. Just remember, only close your flu when your last fire is COMPLETELY out, or you'll end up with a house filled with smoke.
2. Lower The Temperature on Your Water Heater
Is your hot water so hot that it practically burns the skin off of your hand when you turn it on? If your water gets too hot to touch or stand under in the shower, you can likely turn it down without even noticing a difference. Turning the water temperture down on your water heater will result in a consistent year round energy savings. Most water heaters have a temperature dial on the side or top, but all water heaters are different, consult your owners manual for instructions on how to do this.
3. Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water
Did you know that most of the energy consumed when washing your clothes is actually consumed by your water heater trying to heat up all that water? You can reduce the amount of energy needed to wash your clothes by as much as 90% just by switching to cold water.
4. Clean/Replace Your Furnace Filter
When your furnace filter is plugged up with all kinds of dirt particles from a year of use, it makes it very difficult for the furnace fan to push air through it. This means that your furnace will have to run a lot longer to heat up each area of your house. This equates to more gas use and more electricity to keep the fan on for longer. Just by vacuuming out your filter you can increase your furnace's efficieny significantly.
5. Turn Down Your Thermostat
This may not be for everyone, but if you can handle lowering your thermostat a few degrees, you can save money. It takes less energy to heat your home to a lower temperature (and keep it there) than it does to a heat it to a higher one. The colder it gets outside the less efficient it is to keep your home heated to a high temperature. Turning your temperature down at night and back up in the morning can help save money as well. Learn more about how this works in our post "Does Turning Down Your Thermostat at Night Save Money?"
6. Let the Sunlight In
When the sun is out, be sure to have your blinds open and let all that heat from the sun into your home. Your furnace will have to work less hard to heat your house with a little help from the sun. Do the opposite at night though. Your blinds act like an insulator over your windows, so close them up at night to keep all that heat from the day inside.
By following these easy, no cost, energy saving ideas, you can be sure to lighten up your energy bills this winter. If you have more no-cost energy saving tips, let us know if the comments below!
While you're saving money on your home energy bills, you may as well save money on your home insurance as well! Try our online quote form or speak to one of our licensed brokers about how you can save money on your insurance.