Autumn is an important time to do all of your preparations, inside and out, for the winter months ahead. When it comes to conserving energy and reducing your energy bill, the work you do in the fall to get ready for the winter may be the most important of the year.
1) caulk or seal drafts around windows, doors, air vents and electrical outlets – they can account for 25% of total annual heating costs.
2) if you have mechanical ventilation, you might want to consider using heat-shrink plastic to improve the performance of windows that you are unlikely to open.
3) check your insulation. The attic and basement are the first places to consider for more insulation because these areas can represent as much as 15% – 30% of your home’s overall heating and cooling losses.
4) arrange the yearly maintenance check on your furnace by an expert to ensure it’s working at peak efficiency for the winter ahead.
5) clean or replace furnace filters.
6) if you don’t already have one, install a programmable thermostat.
7) save on your water-heating bill by insulating at least the first two metres (six feet) of the hot water pipe and the first metre (three feet) of the cold water pipe that extends from your hot water tank. You can also wrap an insulating blanket around your water heater.
8) if possible, drain water through the spigot at the bottom of the water heater to remove sediment that reduces its energy-efficiency. It’s always a good idea to have an expert technician do a maintenance check on your hot water heater to ensure it is working at peak efficiency.