It’s in the news everyday now; “Consumers Can’t Keep Up With Soaring Ontario Energy Costs”, and for good reason too. Prices are factually on the rise, having doubled over the last decade. This has caused the Ontario Liberal party to table the issue as urgent, although they have conceded that there is little they can do to currently reign in hydro rates.
With rising energy costs and ‘La Nina’ set to herald one of the coldest winters in years, consumers are seeking out new opportunities to cut their hydro costs as much as possible. The trend becomes increasingly interesting when further statistics are realized. According to Natural Resources Canada, approximately 65% of home energy consumption goes to heating and cooling, while only 3% goes to lighting -- emphasizing how important an energy efficient home will be for the colder months of the year.
Here is a list of practical things you can do today to ensure your wallet doesn’t bear the burden during the cold winter months;
KEEP THE HEAT IN
Reliable insulation is key to keeping an energy efficient home. Your walls and your roof happen to be the largest causes of possible heat loss. Since heat rises, it’s possible that a poorly insulated roof can be responsible for up to 35% of your homes heat loss. In the case of your walls, it’s approximately 25%. If either of these two aren’t sufficiently insulated - you may be throwing money away. Consult a professional when dealing with either of these two culprits for possible heat loss.
Less significant, although still important are doors and windows. If you can feel a draft coming from any of your doors or windows, it’s likely they are not properly insulated either. They may need to be resealed in order to be brought back to an energy efficient level. Double-pane windows, caulking the cracks, or installing a better sealed door may be necessary.
LAYER UP, AND COOL DOWN
The reality of the situation is, the less you use your heating system, the less it’s going to cost you throughout the season. Throwing on a pair of sweats as opposed to turning up the heat is an alternative, yet effective initial measure to dealing with colder temperatures. Doing this will allow you to run your system at a lower intensity, saving you money over the course of the season.
DOWN WHEN YOU’RE OUT
Another simple yet very effective way of saving you money on your winter heating bill is to turn down your thermostat when you leave the house for work. A programmable thermostat can be very helpful in this situation. It will allow you to auto set the times when your temperature is going to rise and fall. If you’re wondering, yes, your system will have to work harder to increase the home back to it’s regulated temperature, but it has been proven to still be cheaper this way over the course a full day. This is especially clear when you are only turning down your temperature a little bit, as opposed to completely off. Look into this measure as a way of
REPLACE YOUR AGING FURNACE
One of the most critical aspect of maintaining an energy efficient home is to ensure your furnace is working as best as possible. A furnace can last up to 15 years, but can also begin to lose its efficiency around year 7. An aging furnace can be one of the most obvious offenders accounting for high energy bills, so it’s important to pay close attention to your furnace and monitor how it is performing.
Be sure to replace filters as well. If a furnace filter is dirty or damaged, it can restrict airflow and quickly increase your energy expenditures. A good time to do this would be at the beginning of the season, before the hydro bill begins to rise.
Smart Home Works is currently offering a free, limited time no obligation consultation on how a new furnace can save you money on your home heating this winter.
To take advantage of this opportunity please call Smart Home Works for a technician who can provide energy efficiency technical expertise.