Whether you live in Alberta, Canada, or another region that has long and cold winters, then you know that trying to keep energy costs low can be quite the challenge. Long, bitterly cold winters can lead to huge utility bills from trying to keep a home warm and using other electrical devices more often in order to cope with the shorter days and the inability to spend time outside. Fortunately, there are some simple ways for you to keep energy costs low.
Tip 1: Eliminate Drafts to Keep Energy Costs Low
Many homes, especially older ones, will have crevices, cracks, and holes where cold air can enter and heat can escape. The most common spot that these are found is around your doors and windows. One way to keep energy costs low is to cover these openings. Use caulking around windows and exterior doors to fill in any cracks or crevices. You can also use a draft stopper to keep warm air from escaping under your doors.
Tip 2: Install New Windows in a Home
Another way to keep energy costs low is to update your old windows. Compared to multi-pane windows, older single-pane windows are not very energy efficient. They allow a lot of heat to escape your home. Contact a window installation company and look into replacing your older windows with newer more energy-efficient ones.
Tip 3: Do You Have Carpeting?
Avoid having cold floors in your home by using carpet or throw rugs. In addition to providing a warmer walking surface, throw rugs or carpets can also help insulate the floors to prevent the loss of heat. For additional warmth, install thick padding underneath the carpets.
Tip 4: New Lighting Fixtures and Ceiling Fans
Another way to keep energy costs low is to use ceiling fans and modern lighting fixtures. Ceiling fans help circulate the climate-controlled air in your home keeping it warmer in the winter and cooler during the summer.
Additionally, replace old less-efficient lighting fixtures with newer, modern ones that are made for efficiency. Switching out old bulbs with newer LED or CFL bulbs will also further lower energy costs.
Tip 5: Use Natural Light As Much As Possible
Rather than using electric lights during the daytime, open the drapes or window blinds to enjoy natural lighting. However, on days that the outdoor temperature is at freezing or below, you should keep the window blinds or draperies closed to help reduce the amount of heat lost through the windows.
Tip 6: Control Hot Water Usage
Controlling the amount of hot water you use is another simple way to lower energy costs. You can do this by wash clothing and linens in cold water, washing dishes by hand, or if you have a dishwasher, make sure it’s completely full before using it.
Tip 7: Turn Off Electronic Devices to Keep Energy Costs Low
Many electronic devices and appliances continue to use energy even when they are on standby or not in use. To lower energy costs, walk through your home to determine what items are still using energy. Switch these things off properly, or via the plug. One great place to start is turning off the tv at the wall switch. Unplug any charging cords that are not attached to devices. Unplug small appliances such as the electric tea kettle or toaster, and only plug them in when you are ready to use them. Turn off and unplug these items to save money.
Tip 8: Switch to Natural Gas
By switching to natural gas for some of your home’s equipment, you can use less electricity. You can install a gas furnace, water heater or clothes dryer after the proper gas lines are added to your property. The use of regulated natural gas in Alberta is a fantastic way to reduce your dependence on expensive electricity.
Tip 9: Use Alternative Forms of Energy to Save Money
Using alternative forms of energy is another great way to keep energy costs low. For example, if your home has a fireplace, use it to heat your home instead of using your HVAC. You could even prepare some meals in the fireplace at the same time. You can find the proper equipment for cooking in a fireplace at an online specialty store.
Solar energy is another example of alternative energy. Talk to a professional to see if having solar panels installed on your home would help lower energy costs.
Tip 10: Keep Track of Your Utility Bills
Another way to lower energy costs is to keep up with your home’s utility bills and energy usage. If you notice that your home’s utility bills are increasing, then walk through the house to determine what is causing the problem.