Save money and remain cozy throughout winter by acting now before the bitter cold arrives. Most of these tips can be accomplished without even leaving your home!
1. Prep Your Fireplace
Many people aren’t aware that their fireplace needs to be serviced yearly. This will ensure it runs smoothly all winter long. Most of the time, a quick clean and test of the internal components — such as ensuring no natural gas or CO can leak — is all that is needed.
If you have a wood fireplace, ensure the chimney is in good repair and cleaned out. If you don’t have a chimney liner it is now required by code in Ontario.
2. Change Furnace Filters
Dirty filters restrict airflow and don’t do their jobs properly. This can mean more dust & allergen particles coming into your home. Another side effect of clogged filters is forcing your furnace or air cooling system to work harder, exhausting its lifespan.
We recommend switching from fiberglass filters, which capture 10-40% of debris, to a HEPA filter, which can capture 99.97% of air pollutants.
3. Drain Outside Hose Pipes
Every Spring we, unfortunately, have to assist with a few surprise home renovations after internal pipes freeze & burst. This is almost always from an outside faucet being left active over the winter. Typically, these renovations end up costing the unsuspecting homeowners anywhere from $1,000-5,000.
The worst part? It’s easily avoided. Here’s how: Turn off the water from the water shut-off valve inside your home. Then, turn on the outside tap until all of the water has drained. It’s seriously as easy as that!
4. Check To See If Your Furnace is Working (Before the cold weather hits!)
The important thing here is to have your furnace serviced before the cool weather hits. September-November is extremely busy for mechanical contracting companies and they often book 1-2 weeks ahead. You do not want to find out on the first night below zero that your furnace won’t turn on and you have to pay emergency rates for an after hours plumber.
You could save hundreds of dollars if you 1) Test your furnace before freezing temperatures arrive, and, 2) Book a yearly inspection. Yearly furnace inspections test the efficiency and safety of your furnace, ensuring a cozy winter for you and your family.
5. Automate Your Thermostat
The average family spends 50-70% of their energy budget on heating, so make sure you aren’t paying for what you don’t need! If you program your thermostat to only fire your furnace when it reaches a certain temperature while you’re home, and a lower temperature when everyone is gone, you will save huge!
Every degree you lower your thermostat setting equals $1-$3 in savings. Don’t have a programmable thermostat? They are widely available and easily installed. We will supply & install your Honeywell 2000 Pro Thermostat for $110.00 — money you will get back on your bills during an average Canadian winter.
6. Caulk Your Windows
Caulking & weatherstripping your windows can stop leakage by up to 30%! That’s an easy $30 per month on your energy bill!
Look for places where two building materials meet such as windows, corners, chimneys, where pipes exit, or along your foundation. Use a lit stick of incense and move it slowly near these areas and if the smoke wavers, you have air escaping or sneaking in.
7. Lower Your Water Heater
Most installers set your heat at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but in reality, 120 degrees Fahrenheit is all you need. Lowering that temperature can also result in savings by 6-10% off your energy bill.
If your water heater is old, or you have concerns about its efficiencies, call your local plumbing & heating experts. We can advise the best options right over the phone, including purchasing a new water heater or adopting a rental unit.
8. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Fans are great all summer long when you want to keep cool. Did you know that if you run them clockwise they will disperse warm air that pools against the ceiling? This will make a room feel much warmer, allowing you to turn the thermostat down a degree or two.
As air is circulated back into your living spaces, you can actually help save as much as 10% off your energy bill.
9. Insulate Your Interior
Your heat is escaping through your roof. At least 25% of all heat loss occurs when an attic or roof is uninsulated. It’s an easy fix. You can insult your attic floor, your basement ceiling, and other areas you think are culprits for air leakage.
This will guarantee a cozier winter while you save $$$ on your monthly energy bill.
10. Insulate Water Pipes
This is one that you can choose to do yourself, or hire an expert for. Most pipe insulators can be purchased at your local hardware or plumbing store, and you can cut/fit them to their proper size.
If you aren’t sure which pipes are your water pipes, call an expert. We don’t recommend putting your hands on pipes to see which ones are warm, as this could scald your skin very badly.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions about electrical work, plumbing, heating, or air conditioning, please contact us at: