Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Getting Ready for Winter

The cooler temperatures are already upon us. As I write this the temperature outside is a chilly 1 degree. There were a few flurries flying around today. I am so not ready for the cold and snow. I had to dig through the basement bins just to find the kids some hats and mitts today. So with winter around the corner there are a few things that I need to do around the house to get ready.

Recently I was invited to a small gathering at the home of one of my online friends and managing editor of EverythingMom.com, Carrie Anne Badov . The event including a very knowledgeable representative, Dave Walton, from Direct Energy. 

Carrie Anne had recently had the folks at Direct Energy do a home audit checking on her homes efficiencies. We had a chance to see where some of the most common problem areas are in a house. In a recent study by Direct Energy results showed that 97% of Ontarians say home energy efficiency is a top priority however a large number of Ontarians are not taking the steps to achieve that goal.

Windows and doors are an area where home owners could be losing efficiency. It is also one the areas where homeowners can easily fix by sealing up leaks, cracks and gaps. According to the Direct Energy survey, 74 % of Ontario homeowners are locking out cold air by sealing windows and doors. Take a few minutes to check for drafts around windows and doors. Sealing up leaks and cracks are very easy using a caulking gun or spray/foam insulation.  Doors can be sealed with weather stripping and a new door sweep. The great thing is that all those solutions are easy to do and relatively inexpensive but offer big bang for your bucks.

The other thing that could help you save a little bit of money over the winter is getting a programmable thermostat. It will help you control your heating and program it when you are away from your home. According to the Direct Energy survey, 70% of Ontarians are conserving energy in the home by installing a programmable thermostat which can be set to lower temperatures at night or while you are at work. This can save up to 10 % on heating bills according to Direct Energy.

Those are just a few ways to save this winter and to help make your home more efficient.

Last fall we took a few of the steps outlined here. We have a programmable thermostat which we set to lower at night. We like our house cool for sleeping. We also took time to re-caulk our windows. There were many areas around the windows where the seal had peeled or cracked.  We could feel the difference immediately inside the house!

There are loads of tips and information on the Direct Energy website.  Check them out!