Are you ready for the cool evenings to turn into cool days and cold nights and, gulp, snow?
Now is as good a time as any for you to start thinking about how to reduce your heating bills this winter. Before you know it, you will be shoveling the white stuff from your sidewalk and driveway.
First, if you have not done so, sign up for a home energy assessment / energy audit. Canadians are lucky because they can participate in the ecoENERGY Retrofit program. An energy audit / assessment on your home will identify the different areas consuming energy inefficiently that you can take action on.
Next, attend local energy conservation fairs to learn about the latest and greatest energy conservation techniques and materials. Even fall State, County or city fairs all seem to have these days areas devoted to energy conservation.
Now comes the multitude of tactics; that is, what specifically can you do? Well, what is important to you? Financial payback? The cost of the energy saving step? How complex it is to do? How often you need to do it?
Everyone has different priorities in that regard. What is listed below are the home energy conservation tips we have collected over the past year which relate specifically to reducing energy consumption in your home in cold weather. We hope you find at least some of these useful and take action now.
High Efficiency Furnace – Use less energy to heat your house with a more efficient furnace. Yes, more costly than a ‘regular’ furnace, but in certain areas, and in all of Canada for home owners participating in the ecoENERGY Retrofit program, utility or government rebates are available.
Furnace Tune-Up – Have an authorized technician clean and tune-up your home’s furnace so it is operating efficiently
Furnace Air Filter – A good time to replace the air filter in your furnace. A dirty air filter makes your furnace work harder, consuming more energy.
Programmable Thermostat – Use technology to help automate your desired temperature settings in your home, especially to automatically reduce the temperature at night when sleeping and during the day when no one is usually home.
Basement Floor Insulation – If you are finishing your basement, rather than placing lynolium on the cold concrete, consider a basement flooring system that uses a vapour barrier to help keep the moisture and cool air from the ground from entering the basement and cooling the house in the winter.
Hold a House Party – Use the body heat of your guests to help heat your house 🙂
Basement Wall Insulation – Finishing a basement with adequately insulated finished walls against the poured concrete foundations.
Solar Space Heating – Not as exotic as you might think. One of my favourites that we are looking into for our home. This device recycles the air from the inside of the house to a 4 foot X 7 foot panel on the outside of the south wall or roof of the home to heat the air strictly by the sun. The only moving part is a fan that can be solar powered! Free heating during the day, wow!
Close Vents – Close vents in rooms not being used. That way hot air from the furnace will not go to heating a room no one uses.
Vent Blockers – Cheap (less than $4 for a pair) way to more efficiently block heated air from entering an unused room.
Interior Caulking – Check for any spaces around door frames, window frames, basement areas where cold air from the inside can get into the house and hot heated air can leave. Use appropriate caulking to seal in these leaks.
Exterior Caulking – Same as above but on the outside of the house.
Weather Stripping – Ensure adequate weather stripping is around all door frames, including any doors to the cold cellar in the basement which has direct opening inside the cold cellar to the outside; if not, install new or replace what is there with new weather stripping.
Attic Insulation – Ensure you have sufficient attic insulation to keep more of the heated air inside the house. Again, Canadians are lucky as they can receive government grant money for adding additional attic insulation by participating in the ecoENERGY Retrofit program, per the program’s details.
ENERGY STAR Rated Windows – Superior windows help prevent leakage of heated air.
Secure Fireplace Dampers – When not in use, leaving a fireplace damper open is nothing more than a big hole in the wall for heated air to escape. Even when closed, if not closed securely, heated air can still escape through the chimney.
Solar Radiant Floor Heating – While not cheap, using the sun to head the floor of your home both saves the furnace from being used as much and reduces the dryness inside the house caused by forced air heating.
For more home energy conservation suggestions and home renovation ideas that have worked for us, simply select this link below to our home web site, Daily Home Renovation Tips.