Fall is here, bringing with it changing colours, everything pumpkin spice, and shorter days. With the temperatures starting to drop, home heating costs can increase. To help, read on to discover our top tips to save energy in fall.
Seal All Gaps to Save Energy in Fall
Gaps in windows, doors, and walls can increase your energy use by letting heat escape and cold air enter. This will force your heating system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. Fall is a perfect time to fill such gaps to help save energy as the weather turns colder.
One of our energy advisors, Michael Gimbell, suggests focusing on foam cover behind exterior plugs, which can leak air even in well-insulated homes. He also thinks that plugging gaps around doors is critical as there is often a great deal of air leakage there.
Michael recommends using removable caulking to plug leaks behind exterior plugs and around doors. He suggests this type of caulking because it is tighter than weather stripping but can be peeled off relatively quickly if emergency access is required.
Alternatively, sign up for one of two free energy conservation programs Greensaver delivers on behalf of Save On Energy and Enbridge Gas – the Energy Affordability Program and the Home Winterproofing Program. These programs provide draft proofing free of charge for eligible customers.
Insulate Your Home
Inefficient attic and wall insulation will also let a great deal of heat escape, causing you to use more energy to warm your home. Again, fall is an excellent time to check your insulation quality before the frigid winter temperatures set in.
Greensaver’s Home Energy Solutions Team can assess the effectiveness of your insulation and upgrade it if necessary.
Save Energy in Fall by Maintaining Your Fireplace
If you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home and start to use it when temperatures drop in fall, there are steps you can take to save energy.
Firstly, remember to keep the damper – the vent that controls airflow – closed when the fire is not in use. Leaving the vent open will let warm air escape through the chimney. Also, inspect your damper to ensure it closes properly. If it does not, it’s time to replace it.
Secondly, remember to sweep out the ashes from your firebox regularly. As little as one-tenth of an inch of soot can reduce the heat output of a fireplace by 50%, decreasing its efficiency.
Have Your Furnace Checked Out
Fall is the perfect time to hire a Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) professional to do an annual furnace tune-up as the temperatures drop. The professional will clean the filters, which when clogged with dust, waste energy by forcing the unit to work harder. They will also check for leaky air ducts, which cause the unit to run inefficiently by letting air escape.
Adjust Your Thermostat
An effective way to save energy in fall is by managing your thermostat. When at home, try to set it as low as possible while maintaining a comfortable temperature. You can even try throwing on a sweater instead of leaving the thermostat on high.
If you can afford it, invest in s smart thermostat. These thermostats learn from your cooling patterns to adjust the temperature automatically. You can also modify them from your cellphone if you accidentally leave them air conditioner on full blast when you leave your home. They are so effective at reducing energy waste that they can reduce heating costs by 10-12%.
Our principal energy conservation program – the Home Assistance Program – offers smart thermostats to eligible participants for free.
Use Natural Light
An easy way to save energy in fall is to leave blinds and curtains open on south-facing windows. Letting sun stream through the windows will warm the room and reduce the burden on your heating system.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
In summer, ceiling fans should be spinning in a counter-clockwise direction. This direction pushes cold air down, creating a breeze. However, when the weather gets colder in fall, this should be reversed to a clockwise direction to force warm air back down into the room.
Conclusion: There Are Several Ways to Save Energy in Fall
Fall is a stunning time of year, especially here in Canada. By following some, or all, of our top tips to save energy, you can enjoy this beautiful season while reducing your consumption and bills.