Decreasing temperatures and daylight may mean an increase in your energy bill, which you can offset by making your home energy efficient with some simple tasks you can do yourself.

Although having an energy efficient furnace can go a long way in reducing your monthly bills throughout the winter months, making sure your current furnace is clean, lubricated and properly adjusted can go a long way in reducing the energy required. Also, it is recommended that you clean or replace your filter every one to two months, as a dirty filter reduces airflow and in turn makes your furnace run longer to reach the desired temperature in your home.

SaskEnergy reported that residents can save two-per cent on their heating bill for every degree you turn down your thermostat, therefore to turn your temperature down when you are sleeping at night and also when you are not home during the day can also help lower your energy bill.

Drafty windows, door-frames, sills and joints can allow for your well-paid-for hot air to escape from your home, making your furnace kick in more often than necessary. You can check for leaks by checking seals on a windy day or by using incense sticks. Another sign to watch out for are spider webs around doors and windows, if there are webs, there is a draft. If you do find a leak, you can apply sealant or caulking to remedy the problem. Plastic window covers can also be used to help prevent any unnecessary heat loss.

Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to do a once-over checking pipes, ducts, fans and vents, plugging gaps and spaces where they pass through walls, ceilings and floors from heated to unheated areas of the house.

Unfinished basements can also let a lot of heat escape as well, use spider webs as your guide as you look for drafts, filling them as you go, adding insulation will also positively impact any heat loss.

Other simple tips that will all add up to a lowered energy bill include:
• using low-flow shower-heads and faucets
• always washing a full load in your dishwasher and allowing them to air-dry
• only use the heat in your garage when needed
• Installing weather stripping around windows, exterior doors, garage doors and attic doors
• using cold water when doing laundry and wash full loads
• if using a wood fireplace, close the damper to prevent loss of warm air through the chimney

With a few hours spent going through your house, you could end up saving money throughout the winter months and filling gaps and leaks will help prevent unwanted insects from entering your home as well as they look for a warmer place to call home.


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