Posted on November 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm by & filed under Home Improvement.

The month of November has arrived and everyone knows that winter is sneaking up on us daily. This past weekend in Burlington and Oakville, we had more than just a light dusting of snow. With winter comes icy winds, heavy snowfalls, freezing temperatures and of course, rocketing energy heating bills that can make your blood run cold. However, there are a lot of techniques that homeowners can use to ensure that heating costs are managed more efficiently for keeping the house warm. By taking a few precautions before the big freeze hits, you can create a more energy-efficient home and increase its value at the same time.

warm feet by the fireplace

Insulate Your Home:

To keep your home warmer, it’s essential that you seal up those hidden leaks. By installing proper weather-stripping and caulking, you can retain heat better and help to reduce your energy costs. Since Canadian winters can be brutally cold, Hydro One has stated that up to 40 percent of home heating loss is due to air leakage from a home. That’s a huge percentage of heat loss that can be avoided by simply sealing up all of the cracks and leaks. Make sure all of the doors and windows are properly sealed and then plug up the less obvious leaks like baseboards, light fixtures and electrical outlets. Take a peek in your attic and check for any bare spots that are not covered by insulation. Add more protection as required in order to keep you house air-sealed and warm.

Install a Programmable Thermostat:

By installing a programmable thermostat in your home, you can preset temperatures at different times of the day to avoid energy wastefulness. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, with proper use you can automatically lower your household temperature while you’re at work or sleeping and end up saving more than 10 to 20 percent on your home heating costs. You won’t notice any difference in temperature, but your bank account will certainly see the benefits when you install easy-to-use Energy Star certified products. Many models can store up to four temperatures settings in a day that allows you to choose different settings, such as a low end when sleeping or away and a higher setting when you’re at home.

Furnace Inspection & Water Heater Insulation:

With winter nipping at your heels, now is the time to have your furnace and water heater inspected to make sure they are working at peak efficiency. By getting a professional cleaning done each fall, your furnace will operate cleaner, last longer, run more economically and save you money. If you already have a water heater but your having problems with it contact repair service in McKinney, Texas. If you have a forced-air system in your house, you should change the filters at least twice each winter to improve both energy-efficiency and air quality in your home, using the EnviroKlenz UV air purifier for mold removal if required. Changing filters can save a homeowner up to 5 percent and reduce the dust in the house when it is locked up for the winter months.

Now is the perfect opportunity for you to prepare your water heater for the upcoming winter by wrapping it an insulation blanket. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that the energy it takes to heat your water on a 24/7 basis can consume up to 20 percent of your utility bill. By providing the water heater with added protection and reducing the heating element only a few degrees (140 to 120 degrees), you can save a significant amount of money on your electrical bills.

Hearth & Home:

Fireplaces are favorite amenities for homeowners because these creatures of comfort add an extra touch of architectural vitality to a house, both inside and out. Even when the fireplace is not in use, it makes a visually elegant statement in a room and adds to the value of your residence. Adding a fireplace to your home can increase your home’s value from 6 and 12 percent, which makes it a beautiful and beneficial addition as well as a financially sound investment.

Fireplaces are the best type of heating appliance and offer cozy warmth that can only be obtained by an open hearth. Fireplaces provide a cheerful place to gather with family and friends while the crackling flames dance. It’s a comfy place to relax, read a book in a favorite chair or enjoy countless other favorite indoor activities.

When harsh winter storms hit and electricity is knocked out you can still remain warm and have plenty of light. For homeowners who have a wood burning stove, there is the added benefit of being able to cook on it regardless of the outside conditions. Not only will it save you money on your utility bill by heating food on the stove, the fire will warm your home. Even if you have an open hearth fireplace, you can roast marshmallows and hot dogs on sticks.

An energy-efficient zero-clearance unit is a very effective zone heater. It uses outdoor air for combustion, has gasket doors and puts more than 70% of the heat into your living space, instead of burning it up the chimney!

Gas Fireplace Blowers:

For a gas fireplace with a fireplace blower, the majority of manufacturers claim that it will produce both radiant heat and convection heat for added comfort and warmth. They are another type of zone heating for people concerned with heating efficiency. The blower helps to reduce utility costs because comfort levels are reached quickly.

For optimum efficiency, you should plan to install a fireplace model with a blower that has a built in thermostat to regulate your fireplace and reduce energy costs. Your thermostat should be set so that you are comfortable when wearing a light sweater. Anything past that will only increase your heating bill and use more gas. Make sure you have managed the oven repair in advance, as an alternative.

Whichever style of fireplace you decide to install, a fireplace helps to make a house feel more like a home with its ambient beauty, style and warmth.

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