Keep­ing warm with­out break­ing the bank

The Telegram (St. John’s) - Home Buyers' Guide - - OPEN HOUSES -

Like most Cana­di­ans, youʼre prob­a­bly still re­cov­er­ing from the shock you felt when you opened your re­cent heat­ing bill. The good news is itʼs not too late to ap­ply en­ergy sav­ing strate­gies to make a dif­fer­ence on your next bill and keep en­ergy dol­lars where they mat­ter most – in your wal­let.

Drop it down a notch – Re­duce the tem­per­a­ture on your ther­mo­stat by a few de­grees at night or when youʼre away. As a guide, re­mem­ber that for ev­ery one de­gree re­duc­tion on your ther­mo­stat, you can save 2 per cent on your heat­ing bill. In­stalling a pro­gram­mable ther­mo­stat with a timer can also help reg­u­late house­hold tem­per­a­tures.

Keep up the weath­er­proof­ing rou­tine– Check­ing for cracks in ex­te­rior caulk­ing and search­ing for worn out weather strip­ping around win­dows and doors is an au­tumn rit­ual that should con­tinue all win­ter. En­sur­ing a proper seal against the el­e­ments will keep heat in and can save up to 15 per cent on your next heat­ing bill.

Less sun­light = more elec­tric light – The dark days of win­ter mean house­hold light­ing will be work­ing over­time. Elec­tric lights burn up to 25 per­cent of the av­er­age home en­ergy bud­get so, con­sider re­plac­ing in­can­des­cent bulbs with compact flu­o­res­cents. Th­ese en­ergy savers are four times more ef­fi­cient and last up to 10 times longer than reg­u­lar bulbs.

Drape it – When youʼre not let­ting in day­time sun­light, draw­ing the cur­tains at night can re­duce heat loss through win­dows. Heav­ier drapes com­bined with en­ergy-ef­fi­cient win­dows go a long way to help­ing get more for your en­ergy dol­lar.

Be a star – When buy­ing a new ma­jor ap­pli­ance at any time dur­ing the year, re­mem­ber that im­prov­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency is as sim­ple as look­ing for the EN­ERGY STAR® logo on house­hold prod­ucts.

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