November is upon us and any Nova Scotian knows that the cold of winter is coming to Halifax sooner than later. With rising oil costs and general inflation, using (and paying for) more energy in your home than you actually need is something we'd all like to avoid.
Before cranking up your thermostat, and in turn your heating bill, here's five other things you can do to keep your home cozy and warm, all while keeping your energy bill low.
Fix Drafty Windows and Doors
Cold air can sneak through windows and doors in any home, cooling your home overall and leaving you reaching for the thermostat. So next windy, cold day check around your home for drafts by looking out for a soft breeze around your windows and doors. Stop these drafts in their place by re-caulking and weather stripping where appropriate. Make sure to always lock your windows when not in use as well, this will ensure the windows completely shut tight, and blocking any air flow in and out of the house.
Check Your Attic's Insulation
If you're finding your home chillier than it should be, your attic could be the culprit! Heat rises, so even if you have your thermostat up, that warm air may be escaping through your attic. Head up to your attic at least once a year and verify that insulation is distributed evenly with no low spots. Ensure the insulation level is above the joists, not level or worse, below them.
Program Your Thermostat
According to this 2011 research study, almost 90 per cent of people with programmable thermostats don't program them. If your thermostat is programmable (and most are these days), set yours so that your home's a lower temperature while you're not home or asleep, automatically heating your home only when you actually need to.
Stop Wasting Heat in Unused Rooms
Chances are you don't use all the rooms in your house at once. Don't let that precious heat escape into rooms where it's not needed, like a guest bedroom or a rec room that's usually only used on the weekends. Close the doors to the rooms you're not currently using to allow the heat to stay put, saving energy and keeping you warmer. Remember to close off vents in these unused rooms as well.
Let the Sun Do It's Job
Remember to take advantage of the free energy the sun provides us! Let the sun do its part in heating your home by opening up the curtains and letting it's rays shine through all day long. Your house will absorb heat from that sunshine regardless of the temperature outside.
Give these tips a try over the next few months and track your power bill to see their impact. We hope these methods help keep you warm and toasty until March!
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