It’s September, which means the hot summer sun is being replaced by cooler temperatures and less daylight. Many of us will be spending more time indoors to stay cozy and warm. Even if you’re not ready to say goodbye to summer, getting your home ready for fall will make the change of seasons much more manageable.
One of the most important things you can do is schedule a furnace maintenance appointment. Your contractor will make sure your heating system is in good condition and working as efficiently as possible. It’s best to do this sooner rather than later – no one wants a broken furnace in the middle of January! If you do need to replace your heating system, Manitoba Hydro offers a number of financing programs to help with the upfront cost. Visit hydro.mb.ca/loans to find out if you and your project qualify.
If your home was built before 1999, you may not have enough insulation in your attic and basement. Topping up your insulation can help keep your heating costs down in the fall and winter. Your upgrade may even qualify for Manitoba Hydro’s Home Insulation Program, which can provide you with a rebate of up to 100% of your insulation material costs. For more details, check out hydro.mb.ca/hip.
Preparing your home for the fall doesn’t always mean taking on big renovations. Here are some easy and low-cost tips to help you start saving energy right away.
• Take advantage of passive solar energy. Save on heating costs by opening your shades in the morning on the sunny side of your home and closing them late in the day.
• Replace your furnace air filter if it’s been three months (or longer) since you last changed it.
• Now that the days are getting shorter, it’s a smart idea to take a look at the lighting around your home. Consider replacing any old incandescent or halogen bulbs with energy efficient LEDs. They save money, last a long time, and come in many shapes and colours.
• Find and seal air leaks. Install weatherstripping, caulking and gaskets around doors, windows and electrical outlets to reduce air leakage and save energy.
• If you have a wood fireplace, consult a chimney sweep on how you can reduce heat loss when the fireplace is not in use.
For more information on how you can save energy and money this fall, go to hydro.mb.ca/your_home.