Autumn is in full swing; cool, crisp days, the last of the leaves have fallen, and all my favourite clothes have come out of storage. This fall, as you go about getting your home ready for winter, pay attention to the little details that can improve energy efficiency around your home.
- Book an appointment to have your furnace cleaned and safety-checked this month. An efficient heating system is crucial to your comfort in the winter and a well-tuned furnace will cost less to run.
- Gas furnaces typically last anywhere from 15 to 20 years – With both furnaces and air conditioners, it’s best to look for ENERGY STAR®-certified models, which use up to six per cent less energy than other models. The easiest way to determine your furnace’s energy efficiency level is to look for the EnerGuide label. Every EnerGuide furnace label includes an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating – high-efficiency furnaces have 92 to 97 per cent efficiency, older models typically have ratings around 65 percent.
- You can also improve your furnace’s efficiency by installing a programmable thermostat.
- Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans – running them at a low-speed in a clockwise direction will push warm air downwards.
- Consider having an energy audit done to identify retrofits that can reduce your home’s energy bills, operating costs and carbon footprint.
- Wash windows inside and out to increase passive solar heating – it also makes your home sparkle.
- Replace drafty, inefficient windows with energy-saving thermal windows.
By keeping energy efficiency at the top of your home improvement list, not only will you save money, but you will be rewarded with a snug, comfortable home this winter.
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