You’ve asked yourself this very question? Know that there are several ways to significantly reduce your electricity bill in winter. Moreover, your energy consumption comes from various sources and not just from your heating system. Discover all the factors that can save you money!
Avoid Heat Loss With Adequate Insulation
Comfort is largely related to adequate insulation. Indeed, it is unthinkable to apply all the energy consumption best practices if your home is not well insulated and heat loss is happening. Fortunately, there are several ways to address this problem.
First, you must define the sources of your heat losses in order to do the work more efficiently. There are various ways to detect these: one of them being infrared thermography. Before even buying the house, you can hire a professional to perform an including infrared thermography test. This technique involves recording the temperature of objects and materials using an infrared camera. It produces a color-coded image: Cold colors (blue, green, black, etc.) indicate the cold zones, whereas warm colors (yellow, orange, red, etc.) represent higher temperatures. For example, for an indoor capture in winter, this method would show shades of blue if there are lacks of insulation in some parts of the walls; in contrast, we would see an orange hue outside because of the heat loss. Thermography will save you from having to open and strip your house to find the source of your insulation problem. It is also more effective than the candle and paper techniques. These old methods suggest slowly moving a candle or a thin sheet of paper near surfaces such as doors and windows, walls, floors, and observe the flame or paper for movement in the presence of an air infiltration.
Once the source of the heat loss has been detected, the work must be done. Most of insulation problems are linked to poor insulation at the moment of the construction, mostly if it is an old house, if it has cracks or old doors and windows. It is necessary to reinsulate from the interior or the exterior, to seal off, or to change the doors and windows. There are also other ways to save energy, let’s see how!
Changing Thermostats Might be Beneficial
To save energy and heating costs, you should opt for electronic thermostat rather than bimetallic. You will have better control over the temperature variation since the electronic models offer the possibility to adjust as precisely as 0.5 °C. Moreover, according to the non-profit organization Protégez-Vous, these models also allow to keep a constant temperature, increase comfort and reduce heating costs by 10%. The programmable version can also be a wise choice as it makes heating programming possible by rooms and by periods of the day.
Hydro-Québec suggests 4 best practices towards temperature adjustment:
1. Do not attempt to boost heating by setting the thermostat to a higher temperature than the desired one: it does not work!
2. During cold seasons, set the temperature 3 °C (5 °F) cooler at night and when you are away for a few hours during the day: This will save you 4% to 5% on heating costs.
3. Reduce the temperature of unoccupied rooms; you can easily bring it down to 15 °C (59 °F) without any problem.
4. Check the temperature setting of your thermostat. Simply reduce it by 1 °C (2 °F) to save money.
Smart Hot Water Consumption
According to Hydro-Québec, hot water consumption represents 20% of your electricity bill. This percentage includes bathing, showering, laundry, doing the dishes, etc. To reduce your hot water costs, consider installing low-flow hardware, properly insulating your pipes, repairing any leaks, checking that your water heater is working properly, and maximizing laundry and dishwashing machines utilisation by making sure they are full when running them. You could also run them outside of heavy consumption hours and do laundry with cold water.
Learn More About Home Appliances
Did you know that Hydro-Québec estimates that 20% of the total energy consumption comes from appliances in your home? Besides, your refrigerator and freezer are the most energy-consuming ones. Consider ENERGY STAR® certified appliances to minimize their impact on your bill. When buying new appliances, compare energy consumption with the EnerGuide labels: This will help you make a smart choice and reduce your costs. Want to find out more ways to save? Here are a few more tips!
More Saving Tips
Open your curtains and blinds during the day to let the heat in.
Make sure the heat sources are cleared (baseboard heater, radiator, etc.).
Close the stack doors and vent after a fire so that the heat remains inside.
Ensure nothing is blocking your forced air heating system.
Seal the attic access and make sure it is sufficiently insulated.
Remember to turn off the lights.