We definitely feel a chill in the air now that summer has gone — especially at night. Have you turned on your fireplace, cranked up your heat and snuggled up under your coziest blanket while reading or watching TV these past few weeks?
We’ve hauled out our winter woollies and put away our shorts and flip flops, we’re getting ready for the cold front to hit.
Aside from switching up our wardrobes, we’re also getting our homes ready to withstand the chilly weather. Here are six ways that you can keep the heat in and lower your energy bills this winter.
1. TAKE A LOOK AT THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOUSE
Now is a good idea to clean and inspect your roof. Get rid of accumulated dirt and other organic material that can contribute to rot or add extra weight to your roof, especially if you live in a region that experiences heavy snowfall. While you are cleaning, watch for missing or damaged shingles, soft spots, and other items that may need patching up. Call in a professional for any required repairs.
Prevent major water damage to your roof and walls by cleaning your gutters and keeping them free of debris so that melting snow and ice can flow freely from your roof to the ground below.
Turn off the water to your outside faucets to prevent your pipes from bursting during freezing temperatures.
Check to see if any caulking is needed on the outside of your house, especially around openings for pipes and wires.
2. INSPECT YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS
Your windows and doors let in sunlight and fresh air, but did you know that they are a major source of heat loss? Leaky windows and ill-fitting doors can account for 30% of your home’s energy loss. That’s a big chunk of your heating bill!
To help reduce your energy costs and keep your home toasty warm this winter, check your windows to make sure that the glass is in good condition and fits securely in its frame. Inspect your doors — are they structurally sound? Do they need any adjustments? Look for any gaps around the door and window frames and fill any cracks with a little spray foam insulation.
If your windows and doors are old or in disrepair consider upgrading them to high-performance, ENERGY STAR® models that can save you as much as 12 percent on your heating costs and help keep the heat in. Call our office and speak to one of our sales consultants – we can help you determine the type of windows and doors that will best suit your needs.
3. TURN DOWN YOUR THERMOSTAT
You can save up to 5% on your heating bill just by turning your thermostat down 2 degrees. Reducing the temperature to 19°C or 18°C (2 or 3 degrees below 21°C — the average Canadian room temperature) is the best range for optimum savings. TIP: Setting your thermostat lower than 18°C may raise the humidity in your house and reduce your furnace’s efficiency.
Consider investing in a programmable thermostat. You can save up to 10% on your energy bill by programming your thermostat to lower the temperature while you are away during the day, or at night while you sleep. For more information on using your programmable thermostat, click here.
4. TUNE UP YOUR FURNACE AND CHECK YOUR INSULATION
Make an appointment for a furnace cleaning and tune-up. Have the filters changed. This will optimize your furnace’s performance and help to keep heat in during the cold months.
Check your attic and basement to see if your insulation has settled or sagged over time. It may be a good idea to replace your insulation with newer, more efficient methods that can save you money and keep your home draft-free.
5. WRAP YOUR WATER HEATER
Heating hot water is the second largest portion of your energy bills, accounting for between 15 and 20 percent of your total energy costs. This winter, if your water heater is an older model, wrap it with insulation or in a blanket designed especially for this purpose. For more details about water heaters — how to buy, which kind to choose, etc. — read the Natural Resource of Canada’s Water Heater Guide.
6. MAKE THE SWITCH
If you have a ceiling fan, flip the switch so that the blades turn counter-clockwise. This reverse motion will push the warm air back into the room, helping to keep the room warmer and can save you as much as 10% on your energy bill. Find out more here.
Take a look around our site: our product pages describe our range of custom-made windows, and doors along with the wide array of options and accessories that are available. On our gallery pages you can see photos of our products and projects.
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REMEMBER: The Vancouver Home + Design Show is on this week! Visit us at Booth 1129 – Drop by and say hello! Ask us how our windows can give you the best thermal comfort AND reduce your energy costs!