Is your house ready for fall?

Found out how simple energy efficiency upgrades can lead to major savings

As the chill of the fall and winter seasons set in Canadians seek warmth—turning on the furnace and turning up the thermostat. Unfortunately this often results in higher energy bills.

Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas at Direct Energy, has worked with thousands of homeowners to combat this challenge, providing energy-saving tips and advice about when to implement efficiency upgrades.

Here are some of the most effective ways Dave suggests for saving money on your energy bills this season:

• Furnace maintenance: Clean or replace your furnace filter every three months to save as much as five per cent off your heating bill. Also, most homeowners might not realize that if you own an older, conventional burning furnace, it operates at 60 per cent efficiency. That means that 40 cents of every dollar you spend heating your home goes right up the chimney. If your furnace is 17 years or older, consider upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace that could save as much as $565 per year on heating costs.

• Invest in a programmable thermostat: Knocking the temperature down and leaving it around 20 degrees at night and during the day when nobody is home can save as much as three to five per cent on heating bills.

• Sealing leaks: Up to 20 per cent of the heating and cooling costs in a home can be lost through poorly fitted windows and doors. Caulking and weather stripping around existing openings or installing new energy-efficient windows can save home owners as much as $150 a year on their energy bills.

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