Energy Saving Tips

For those living in cold climates, winter can be an expensive season. As the temperature goes down, the heating bills go up. Here are eight practical ways to help you reduce your heating expenses and free your money up for other purposes. While some of these suggestions require an initial investment, the savings begin to accumulate immediately.

1. Install a programmable thermostat. The money saved can be substantial—as much as 10 per cent of your heating costs. Plus, these savings will accumulate year after year. Set the thermostat for 68°F (20°C) when you are home and awake, 64°F (18°C) overnight, and 60°F (15°C) when you are at work. If you go out of town, override the programming to keep the temperature at a constant 50°F (10°C).

2. Put on a sweater or use a blanket. When you feel chilly resist the urge to raise the temperature setting on the thermostat. Instead, put on a sweater or pull out a blanket and you will feel cozy and warm within minutes.

3. Wear slippers and use an area rug on your hardwood floor. If you can keep your feet warm it will help keep rest of you warm, too.

4. Add caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows. This will reduce drafts and keep the heat from escaping your home.

5. Turn down thermostats in and close the doors to unused rooms. Why pay to heat rooms you are not using?

6. Replace incandescent light bulbs with the more energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). With fewer hours of sunshine each day, you will use your lights more. CFLs use about a quarter of the energy used by incandescent bulbs, and can last ten times as long.

7. Open your drapes during the day to allow sunlight in. This will provide natural heat for your home. Then close the drapes at night to keep the heat inside.

8. Have your furnace serviced once a year. With regular maintenance, you can ensure that your furnace is operating at peak efficiency.

9. Do not use your kitchen or bathroom fans any longer than necessary. These fans are used for ventilation and can completely remove the heat from your home within three hours.

10. Add insulation in your basement and attic. Better insulation will help keep the heat in and the cold out, and can result in huge savings.

By taking these small steps you can dramatically reduce your heating expenses and enjoy the savings year after year. Do not forget to check if you are eligible for a winter fuel allowance to help with the extra expenditure on energy at this time of year