Tips to Saving Money on your Hydro Bill this Winter
Keep cozy and save money with these helpful energy-saving tips
Spiralling hydro costs have many home and condo owners dreading the arrival of Jack Frost. As we batten down the hatches for a winter that promises to be cold and snowy, there are steps we can take to reduce the amount of money we spend on keeping our homes cozy.
Identify Problem Areas
Before spending money on upgrades, make sure that every penny is going where it will make the most difference to your hydro bill. Start with the Scotiabank Home Energy Savings Calculator which will help you prioritize your energy upgrades.
Your next step would be to get a home energy audit which will help you to determine where there are gaps in your home’s envelope. When your home envelope isn’t secure, all your warm indoor air leaks out and you spend more on hydro. If you don’t want to spend money on an energy audit, do it yourself with a guide which you can find here.
Keep it Cozy
- Start by caulking any gaps in your building envelope. Problem areas include holes or cracks, especially around doors and windows, electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures. This is a cheap fix which will produce excellent savings.
- Check the seals around your doors and windows. Replacing cracked seals is another inexpensive way to ensure big energy savings. Get a full tutorial for replacing seals here.
- You can save 13-14% when utilizing blinds and 15-17% with curtains. Use window coverings to prevent heat loss at night, but open them in the daytime to allow sunshine in.
- Switch the rotation of your ceiling fan so it’s moving in a clockwise direction.
Keeping your appliances well maintained will increase their efficiency and longevity.
- Have your HVAC system serviced annually or follow our simple guide to do it yourself. Changing the filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions will improve efficiency as well as the quality of your indoor air.
- Vacuum the coils at the back of your fridge once a year to keep it working optimally.
- Bleed your radiators to reduce the number of air bubbles which will lower energy usage. Get a guide here.
- Over time, sediment builds up in your water heater which needs to be drained. Get a step-by-step guide here so you can do this at least once a year.
- Consider wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket to keep heat in.
- Use power bars with timers for appliances which don’t need to stay on. Appliances in standby mode account for 10-15% of your hydro bill.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed when the fireplace is not in use.
- Consider installing a smart thermostat which will turn down the heat when you are asleep or away.
- Your water heater accounts for about 18% of your bill. Turn down the temperature to 49° C and save.
- Switch your incandescent lights for LEDs and place lights on dimmer switches. Insulate behind light switch places.
- Insulate water pipes to prevent heat loss and bust pipes.
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