prepare your home for winter

Going Green: Tips on staying efficient in the colder weather

Fall Tips

As the leaves start to fall and summer comes to an end, we know it’s only a matter of time before winter’s chill returns. Take time to prevent heat loss, while getting ready for the winter season to come, with these tips:

  • An easy way to detect drafts is to hold lit incense sticks near potential leak locations (preferably during windy days). Leaks will be indicated by smoke movement and possible increased glowing of stick tips. Once identified, use the proper material to seal these leaks.
  • To maximize the energy savings in your attic, a minimum level of insulation of R50 is recommended in Alberta. Maintaining proper levels of insulation in the attic will keep your house warmer in the winter.
  • Be sure to position your thermostat where it is not affected by heat and draft sources such as direct sunlight, hot air ducts, appliances, stairwells and outside doors.
  • An un-insulated and poorly sealed basement can result in up to 35 per cent of your home’s total heat loss.
  • Replacing your doors with insulated steel or fiberglass doors will reduce heat loss and can also add to the security of your home.
  • Install and use a programmable thermostat. Once it is set, this device can automatically reduce the temperature setting while you are away during the day, or sleeping at night.
  • Turn down the temperature! For every one degree Celcius you consistently set back your thermostat during the entire heating season (based on eight hours per day), you could save approximately two per cent of your annual space heating costs.
  • You can reduce heat loss through your external wall electrical outlets, light switches, and lighting fixture receptacles by installing foam gaskets behind these outlets and switches. Be sure to switch off any electric power prior to completing this work.
  • Apply plastic film to your windows to reduce air leaks. Products designed for this purpose are sold in most home improvement stores and are easily applied using a hand-held hairdryer.

For more household energy-saving advice, visit our Energy Fact Sheets and Tools and Calculators sections.

(Source: ATCO Energy)

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