Are you looking for ways to bring down your electricity costs this winter? You're not alone! Many Canadians suffer from higher expenses during these cold months, in order to make sure they stay nice and toasty. However, you don't have to sacrifice your wallet in order to have comfort. Be sure to follow along with our best tips to reduce your hydro bills this winter so you can stay warm and keep that money in your pocket.
Phantom power (or phantom load) is a term used for the electricity that appliances use even when turned off. You read that right: devices like televisions, computers, and phones that are plugged in all day draw energy, even if the devices aren't in use! One quick way to combat this big problem is to plug all of your electronic devices into a power bar and turn the entire power bar off once you leave the house. You'll be surprised to see just how much money you save just by making this one change.
Opening the curtains or blinds on sunny winter days helps you to capture free light and heat. You'll even find that doing this with your south-facing windows will have the best effect. The optimal time to open window treatments, in order to capture winter sunlight, is 9 am. In fact, we'll even say you can turn your thermostat down a couple of degrees at the same time because of all the free heat! However, since curtains act as insulation, be sure to close them by 3 or 4 pm in order to keep the warm air indoors.
We can't stress this enough! LED bulbs are an incredible way to reduce your hydro bills. In fact, according to Hydro One, switching to LED bulbs can cut your electricity use by up to 75 percent! They're also easy to get, not overly expensive, and come in a variety of styles to fit almost any fixture. These bulbs also save you money in the long run because LEDs last much longer than traditional bulbs.
Usually, the Old-School advice was to close off unused rooms and shut off their air vents in order to reduce hydro bills in the winter. However, that is no longer relevant for owners of newer, energy-efficient furnaces. This is because newer systems rely on unrestricted airflow throughout all of the ducts in your home in order to remain balanced. If you shut a room's vents off, you could be forcing your system to work harder, and possibly cause it to break down!
Your fridge is one of the highest energy consumers in your home and, if you haven't cleaned the coils on yours lately, it's definitely using more energy than necessary. The coils on a refrigerator are used to offload heat from stored foods and the motor. When dust, lint, and pet hair collect here they act like insulation, keeping the heat in; which is essentially the same thing as wearing a sweater on a hot summer day. Clean coils offload heat more efficiently so the condenser doesn't have to work as hard. This has a double bonus because it encourages lower energy use and means the whole unit will last longer as well!
There are several affordable and simple ways for you to reduce your hydro bills this winter. Small purchase like power bars and LED light bulbs, as well as little around-the-home habits like opening and closing window blinds, will greatly lower your electricity costs during these colder seasons. Be sure to follow Marina Homes' blog series for more tips and tricks around the home.