HOME: Save money while still warming your home this winter

With some little adjustments, you can save big with your home heating during the winter.

Some weatherstripping and a smart thermostat can really go a long way
PAUL F.P. POGUE
HOME ADVISOR
Torstar, Dec. 22, 2018

Some tips to keep your house and save on energy and the bills they bring – at the same time.

Make some basic changes:
Some of the most effective ways to warm up your home are the simplest. For example, open your blinds in the morning to let in both light and heat during winter Close them at night to prevent a chill from cold windows. Switch your ceiling fan so it runs clockwise at low speed to push the rising warm air downward.

Save water-heater use:
Most water heaters are automatically set to 60C. If you lower it to about 49-52C, you’ll reduce the amount of fuel used. Insulate the first one to two metres of pipe coming out of the heater. Wrap a tank-style heater insulation blanket, which you can purchase at a big box store.

Make your home airtight:
Prevent- air from slipping outside by creating a tight envelope. Replace, caulk or apply weather stripping to drafty windows and doors. Don’t overlook it leaks from utility cut-throughs – the gaps that allow pipes into your home, as well as chimneys and recessed lights. Check your ducts to make sure you don’t have holes, which can seriously affect your bills.

Do an energy audit:
A professional audit will teach you re than you ever imagined about your home’s energy usage. The auditor will use a variety of tests, including a blower door and possibly infrared imaging, to identify air leakages, air infiltration, humidity levels and insulation efficiency. an auditor will offer recommendations to clean up air loss.

Maintain your HVAC equipment:
Hire an HVAC service technician to inspect, clean and maintain your heating system A good technician will tune up the system for peak performance, and they can also catch small problems before they become big problems and leave your family shivering. Also, heck and replace your HVAC filters once a month-a dirty filter makes your system work harder.

Check your fireplace:
A working fireplace creates a straight path to the outdoors Keep your damper closed when you’re not burning a fire. Check the seal on the flue damper to make it as tight as possible. Caulk around the hearth to prevent air loss.

Use a programmable thermostat:
Set your thermostat to roll back about 5 or 6 C when you’re asleep or out of the house. When you’re home and awake, set the thermostat as low as is comfortable.

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