Reduce your home’s energy costs during winter

As winter approaches, it’s a good time to think about cost savings and your home’s impact on the environment. “There are a myriad of reasons to make your home a more eco-friendly living space,” says Carlo Racioppo, a broker with Royal LePage Realty Plus in Mississauga, Ontario. “You not only have the ability to save money on your energy bills, but you can also create a brighter future for our planet. You simply need to know where to start.” Racioppo recommends these three heating-related tips for saving energy and minimizing your home’s carbon footprint during winter:

1. Replace or clean furnace filters once per month. Darren Voros, the national manager of The Home Inspection Network says: “Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to five per cent of heating costs.”

2. Remove window screens. For the most part, homeowners keep their windows closed during the cold winter months in an effort to seal in warm air. Screens can block up to 20 per cent of the sun’s warm rays, which may encourage you to turn up the thermostat. Remove your screens and take advantage of nature’s freebies.

3. Run your ceiling fans in reverse. Doing so, at a moderate speed, will recycle any warm air sitting near your ceilings and push it back down into your living areas. Turning your fan in a clockwise direction during the winter can help you recycle up to 10 per cent of your home’s heat.

Heating comprises about 60 per cent of a home’s energy bills during winter. Try out some of Racioppo’s ideas and the savings may surprise you. More information on home efficiency can be found online at www.royallepage.ca.

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