6 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient This Winter
With summer singing its swan song and autumn preparing to be tagged into the ring, we cannot deny the cold truth that chillier times are a-coming. Autumn has a romantic charm to it, and winter can turn the outside into a beautiful wonderland. As we swap out golden beaches for cozy fires while the smell of cinnamon and mulled wine fills our senses, there are a few things we need to consider. We should be thinking about ticking off the boxes on our winter home maintenance checklist to be prepared. This goes beyond Christmas decorations and festive cheer. As a responsible homeowner, you should check that your house is up to scratch and you are ready for those long, cold nights. If you are unsure where to start, the following article will show you 6 ways to make your home more energy-efficient this winter.
Double the Pane and Half the Pain
Windows are an excellent starting point - the oft-forgotten guardians who defend against drafts, chilly winds, and everything else the outside world can chuck at you. Just like men's razors, which will be adding the tenth blade to their model sooner or later, the single blade or single-pane models, in this case, should be relegated to the past. With a lot of homeowners even opting for triple-pane options, an upgrade should be in order. Ordinary double pane ones are more than enough. Since you're there, adding some weather stripping around frames will ensure the outside stays on the outside.
Insulation for the Win
Heat is a tricky customer. It accepts your invitation wholeheartedly but then, quickly, has a change of heart. Once in your home, it looks for ways to run away and escape. Only one thing for it - you have to cage it in. No, we do not need metal bars; we need fiberglass and foam. Insulation is essential. The sole purpose of its existence is to minimize the amount of heat your house loses during the colder seasons. Old homes are notorious for having insulation that has been worn out to the point of being virtually nonexistent. Bonus tip, make sure your contractor is using an infrared camera. It can help identify any gaps that need to be filled in. Bonus, bonus tip, drawn curtains provide better insulation. Thicker or thermal curtains could be a good investment.
LEDs Lead in Energy Efficiency
Still using incandescent bulbs? Consider switching to a more economical and energy-efficient option. Economical? Yes, that wasn't a slip of the tongue, they do cost more initially, but they last longer and will save you money in the long run. The old bulbs lose most of their energy in the form of heat; the LED alternative can last five times longer. As the old saying goes, you do the math. It is a simple trick you can implement today. Word of warning, not all changes and renovations can be done without professional help. Try to avoid common renovations mistakes by carefully choosing what to tackle on your own. When it comes to light bulbs, you're pretty safe!
Caption: One way to make your home more energy-efficient this winter is to get rid of those old energy-gobbling light bulbs.
20th Century Furnace in the 21st Century?
Furnaces installed in the early 90s and earlier are predominantly not very energy efficient. They have standing pilots that can waste over a quarter of the fuel they use. If you have a newer model, have a technician check its efficiency. No matter what kind of heating system you have, make check-ups an annual ritual. This way, any small problems can be fixed quickly. It will keep it at peak performance and avoid potentially very costly repairs down the line. Annual tune-ups of your HVAC system will ensure you are making savings on a yearly level. Be sure to change the filters regularly too. Furthermore, there are plenty of smart home devices that can help you save money, so be sure to consider these options. At the top of the list should be a programmable thermostat.
Caption: A smart thermostat can change the temperature automatically in accordance with your habits.
They Say Cold Showers are Good for You
We are not saying you should be dreading your next shower, but rather, think about your hot water consumption. Here are a few tips:
- Swap out that bath for a quick shower;
- Run your washer with cold or warm water whenever possible;
- Lowering the temperature on your water heater is yet another way to make your home more energy-efficient this winter;
- Insulation yet again - it can be applied to the hot water lines.
There Are Many More Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient This Winter
As promised, this is the sixth and final tip, but rather cheekily, we have wrapped a potentially large number of additional methods into this one. Hear us out. At the end of the day, all homes are specific. All houses are unique. Schedule an energy audit. What will you get? A professional with professional tools. They can find where the problem lies in your case. Maybe the insulation is top-notch, but one spot on one exterior wall is bleeding heat, and you are not even aware of it. They can help you fix problems you didn't even know you had.
It's Not Only Cold Outside
Unfortunately, even though you may have turned your home into the poster child for energy efficiency, a large part of life occurs outside our warm little fortresses. So we have to brave the cold. A regular commute to work is not so bad, but sometimes we have more significant projects. For a variety of reasons, we have to relocate and move. This can be pretty tricky, especially when you have kids. Moving cross Canada can seem like an impossible task, but it does not have to be. The right advice and tips could make it easy for everyone, because, after all, moving should represent something fresh and exciting for all family members. We just hope you checked the heating system of your new home, now that you know what to look for!
Warm Summers, Warm Winters
As you can see, with a few simple steps, you can make your home even more comfortable. You can cozy up with a warm blanket while your wallet cozies up with all those notes you will be saving every month. There really is nothing better than watching the snowfall, listening to the wind sing, or even humming along to the pitter-patter of the rain on your double-paned windows when you are in a warm, safe place. So don't let winter give you the cold shoulder this year. If you follow these 6 ways to make your home more energy-efficient this winter, there will be no need to fear what the whole cast of Game of Thrones had been dreading seven seasons in a row!