During the dead of Calgary’s winter, one thing you don’t want to worry about is the size of your energy bill. Unfortunately, for many this is a real concern. There are a number of small things that you can do to help lower your energy bills, as well as help you live in a more energy-conscious home, without sacrificing warmth and comfort in the winter, before you consider undertaking a window replacement.
1. Set your water heater
First, take a look at your water heater. You will want to lower the temperature of the water to the lowest setting that is still comfortably hot for you while also keeping it above 49 degrees celsius to keep bacteria from growing. In addition, you might want to install a timer on your water heater so you can program it to turn on before you are home, and turn off when you won’t be home or won’t be using hot water, such as when you are asleep. One of the most beneficial things you can do for your water heater is to insulate it. Adding exterior insulation to your water heater will help keep the water inside at the temperature you want, especially if your water heater is located in an unheated basement.
2. Insulate your water pipes
Turn your attention to your water pipes, as they are carrying your hot water from the water heater so you want that water to stay hot during the trip. Instead of turning the temperature up on the water heater, instead think about insulating your pipes. You can buy premade insulation for your pipes that is easy to install. This will help keep the water in the pipes the temperature you want when it reaches the faucet.
3. Keep your furnace running smoothly
Then look at your furnace, it is one of the largest energy consumers in your home and to keep it running efficiently you need to take care of it. Make sure you change the filters in your furnace often to keep the whole unit running smoothly. Uncleaned filters mean that the furnace will be working harder to do the same amount of work it could do with less energy when the filters are clean.
3. Consider a ceiling fan
Another relatively less expensive home improvement project you can do to help your energy bills is to add ceiling fans to your rooms. In the warmer summer months, a ceiling fan can help keep a room cool without needing to turn on your air conditioning. Turn the ceiling fan on in a counterclockwise direction to keep the air moving, and thus keeping it cooler, when the weather is warmer outside. A ceiling fan can also help keep your energy bills down in the winter, turn it on in a clockwise direction and on the lowest setting to push the heated air back down as it rises up.
4. Get energy efficient windows
On the other side of the scale, a larger project you can look into starting to save on your energy bills while keeping your home warm and comfortable in the winter is to look at replacing your windows with energy star rated windows. If you have older windows chances are they are in need of replacing, especially if you are noticing leaking, excessive condensation, broken seals, warping, and drafts. Replacing your older windows with energy efficient windows will help keep your house warm and dry in the winter, and cool in the summer.
Getting new windows will not only add value to your house, by replacing your older windows with new ones that are made for the harsh prairie conditions that Calgary experiences you will be adding a layer of protection from the climate to your home as well. Look into getting windows with Low-E coating and double or triple paned to help protect your home from harmful sun rays, while also protecting your interior from the cold winter weather.
Check out more articles about replacement windows:
Learn how much a replacement project should cost
See all of our available window styles
Find out about the importance of correct window installation