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Unfortunately for Montrealers, winters are long, cold, and quite expensive in bills if we’re not careful about our energy conservation.
Cranking up the thermostat — and leaving it there — is an easy fix to fight off the cold. But it doesn’t do much for our savings, nor is it environmentally friendly.
Here are some tips on effectively winterizing a home, which can save you on bills — without sacrificing warmth.
Do you have a programmable thermostat?
A programmable thermostat will allow you to turn the heat down to a minimum while you’re at work, and turn it back up again before get back home.You can find one in hardware and department stores for less that $100 and they’re a great investment for your home.
Tip: Don’t turn the heat off completely, as it’ll take much longer to bring it back to a liveable temperature. By simply turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill.
Get a smart power strip and/or unplug your electronics when they’re not in use
Chargers, t.v.s and computers still suck up energy when they’re plugged in, even if they’re not being used. The easiest way to prevent wastage in this department is to simply unplug your electronics after turning them off. But if this seems too cumbersome or if you find yourself repeatedly forgetting, you can get an eco-powerstrip (sometimes called an energy conserving powerstrip) that automatically cuts of the electrical supply to electronics when they’re off.
Fix up drafty windows and doors
Most windows in Montreal are double panelled already but caulking the frame around windows and doors will seal the entry points even further, keeping your rooms warm with less artificial heating.
Get an energy monitoring device to keep track of your consumption
It’s hard to monitor your energy use when you have no idea how much your spending or what the norm is. An energy-monitoring device costs about $20 in stores, and can end up saving you hundreds .
Switch all your lights to LED
As the days get shorter we end up having the lights on a lot more often during the day, so it’s important to make sure that the bulbs we’re using are as energy-efficient as possible. LED bulbs may cost a little more upfront, but they consume 80% less energy and last 25 times longer than iridescent lights.
Make use of natural sunlight
Keeping your blinds or curtains on during the day will help warm your rooms, so that you don’t have to bank on your heaters as much. Similarly, closing your blinds or curtains at night will help keep the cold drafts out in your bedroom.