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The arrival of winter brings low chilly temperatures and long cold winter nights. As a result, there will be a drastic increase in energy prices. These high energy costs can take a big bite out of our budgets which can cause a serious financial and emotional strain. Although we all want to keep our homes cozy and warm during the winter, it is important to do what we can to reduce our home heating costs. The good news is there are a number of ways to reduce winter energy consumption.

Below are a number of cost-cutting measures you can implement to reduce winter energy consumption:

Exterior of the Home: Inspect the outside of your home for any gaps, cracks, and spaces. Apply caulking to any spots where the cold can enter into the home. As well, check the outside of windows and doors for cracks and crevices and apply caulking. Check plumbing pipes coming into the home and wrap them with pipe insulation. Install vent blocks in the foundation vents under your home. Caulk any leaks or cracks in basement walls and then add a sealant.

Interior of the Home: There are number of ways to keep the heat from escaping your home. Check basement pipes and wrap them with pipe insulation. Check windows and doors to see if there any air gaps. Add weather stripping or caulking to the gaps. You can also cover the windows with plastic sheets. Insulate around the wall outlets and check the heating vents to make sure they are not blocked by furniture. Also, vacuum the air registers. Make sure the ceiling and walls have the proper insulation. During the day keep the curtains open to let the sun in and keep them closed during the evening. Keep the thermostat at a low and comfortable temperature, and when you are out, turn the temperature down. Avoid heating non-essential areas such as unused rooms, garage, and the attic. Wrap the not water heater in an insulating blanket.

Reduce Electricity Consumption: There are a number of ways to save on your electricity bill as well. When washing your clothes, only wash full loads and use cold water. Only use the dryer for essential clothingand clean the lint trap when the load is finished. Whenever possible, hand-wash and dry your dishes. If possible, use energy efficient appliances. Buy appliances that have the CSA (Canadian Standards Association) seal. Defrost your fridge regularly. If there are rooms you do not use often, keep the lights and fans off, and keep the door closed. When you are away from the computer, keep it in sleep mode. As well, try to shorten your showers.

During the winter, energy costs can really devastate a family budget. Since a lot of the energy we use is wasted, when you implement a home energy cost-cutting plan, you can drastically reduce your winter energy costs. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, reducing your energy costs will definitely help chase the winter blues away.

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