Winter is around the corner, which means now is the ideal time to get your home and office ready for the ensuing cold months.

Heating up your living spaces can consume a large portion of your budget during the winter. Here are some tips to help you winterize your home and maximize your energy savings.

Seal up hidden leaks

According to Hydro One, up to 40% of home heat is lost in the winter due to air leakage. One of the easiest ways you can retain heat and reduce energy costs in the winter is to install proper weather-stripping and caulking around the home. To check for leaks in less obvious places, hold a lit stick of incense around baseboards, light fixtures and electrical outlets. A strong leak will make the stick glow brighter and blow the smoke away, while small leaks will puff the smoke in a distinct direction.

Invest in a programmable thermostat

If you’re not home for most of the day, then it seems wasteful to keep an empty home heated. That’s where a programmable thermostat comes in handy. With it you can lower your household temperature while you sleep or are away at work, and bring it back up when you’re awake. You may not see much of a difference, but you’ll surely notice a difference on your monthly hydro bill. And now with smartphone apps and at-home displays, you can adjust your heating and cooling preferences while on-the-go.

Tune-up your furnace and water heater

Don’t wait until it’s winter to check your furnace and water heater to make sure they’re working at peak efficiency. Schedule a professional cleaning and inspection in the fall to ensure your furnace lasts longer and saves you energy. Also, change your filters at least twice each winter to improve both energy efficiency and air quality. While you’re at it, wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket. The energy it takes to heat water around the clock can make up about 20% of your electrical bill! Read more about how to tune up your heating system in our blog post.

Run fans in reverse

Did you know you could run your fans in reverse to warm your home? Most fans come with a handy switch that reverses the direction of the blades. Counterclockwise rotation produces a cooling breeze while reversing the blades to run clockwise produces warm air (i.e., air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space). This can cut your heating costs as much as 10 per cent!

By preparing for the winter, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your property is protected whatever weather comes your way.

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