Energy Savings Tips for Canadian Winters

Another winter is almost upon us, and Canadians need to start thinking about their yearly energy costs. There is nothing worse than dealing with Christmas credit card bills in January, and getting a second dose of shock thanks to a higher-than-expected energy bill.

Here are some tips that can help to reduce that pain and make your home more energy efficient throughout these colder months:

Get a Programmable Thermostat

You don’t need the temperature up quite so high while you are asleep, but will you remember to adjust it before bed? How about in the morning when you are stumbling around looking for coffee? A programmable thermostat will do the work for you. Higher end ones can even be controlled remotely through your smartphone. Even keeping your temperature down just a degree or two throughout the winter can save you a noticeable amount of money, while having very little effect on your comfort level.

Use Colder Water

Whenever possible, use colder water when bathing or washing clothes. If clothes are not coming out as clean as they used to with hot water, try pre-soaking them.

Electricity Savings

Even when they are not in use, electronics like televisions use power, so unplug them. A plug bar with an On/Off button makes this easy.

Make sure to always clean the lint trap before running a load of clothes in your dryer. This reduces the amount of electricity needed to effectively dry the clothes. It also reduces the possibility of fires.

Many homeowners look forward to making their houses bright and colourful for the holidays, but the related hydro costs can be enormous. LED Christmas lights look just as wonderful and use far less electricity. The upfront cost of buying new lights will be recouped in almost no time.

Avoid Idling

No one likes to get into a freezing cold car, but leaving your car idling for minutes on end with the heater blasting wastes a great deal of gas over the winter season.

Getting Your Home Ready for the Winter Months

OK Canadians, Thanksgiving is now behind us, which means Halloween is around the corner, which, alas, means that winter is imminent. Whether you like the colder months or not, there is no getting around them if you are planning on staying in the country. Even if you plan to flee South for a few months, it is still necessary to make sure you house is ready to withstand all of that ice, snow, and wind.

Here are some things that should be on your “Ready for Winter?” checklist:

Check your roof

There is nothing worse than trying to deal with a roof leak (or worse) during the height of winter. Go up on the roof (or have a professional inspector do it for you) and see if there are leaks or signs of potential trouble in the coming months; have repairs done now. While you are up there, clean out the eavestroughs; not doing so can lead to ice and leaking problems.

Mulch leaves

Rather than continuing to rake the leaves off of your lawn, use your mower to mulch them. They will decompose over the winter and that will help to sustain your grass during those long months of ice and snow cover.

Get that chimney cleaned

If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, you will want to use it over the winter. In addition to having enough firewood, you need to make sure that the smoke can easily exit the chimney, lest it back up and come back down into your home. A chimney inspector will let you know whether you need a cleaning and also perform a safety check, so that you won’t have to worry about chimney fires or carbon monoxide.

Avoid frozen pipes

While the pipes in your home may have proper insulation to avoid freezing and bursting in February, you still need to make sure that there is no water in your exterior faucet and lawn-irrigation system.