Nov 3, 2020

Home Maintenance

Rümi's Winter Guide to an Energy-Efficient Home

These energy-saving tips will help you get through our long Canadian winters and save on your energy bill.

Make your home energy efficient, even in winter. Follow Rümi’s tips and save on your energy bill when it’s cold outside.

The key to proper wintertime home prep can be summed up in two words: energy efficiency. You don’t want your heater working too hard to keep things comfy and toasty for months on end during our long Canadian winters. 

Go through your home to find ways to improve efficiency. Doing so before the temperatures really drop down, can help you save on your heating bill. You'll also protect your windows, walls and appliances from the wear and tear of winter. 

Your home’s exterior is just as important as the interior. Make sure you have enough time to take care of both areas. Getting through this winter prep work might take a couple of days, but trust us, it’s worth it.

Insulate the attic

This is the single most cost-effective way of keeping the cold air out and that hard-earned heat in. Your attic (and roof) are your home’s winter hat! 

To make sure your roof is properly insulated, you can check your attic and fix any holes or missing spaces with fresh insulation material. Don’t forget the attic access.  The weather stripping around the access hatch should be in good condition, and the area well insulated. More tips on how to insulate the attic can be found here.  

If you want to take it up a notch, you can add a radiant barrier to your roof insulation for an added layer of protection.  

Check the siding

Ok, so the truth is you can’t add insulation to your existing siding. Hopefully, someone purchased great siding with quality insulation when you or the previous owner built the house. If this isn’t the case, you can still check for problem areas and spot fix them to help your energy situation. 

Rotten wood siding, cracks that let heated air leak out, or shrunken, cracked caulking are red flags. Ttry to address them before the snow hits or on slightly warmer days. Rümi offers several roofing and exterior home maintenance services to help.

Windows & doors

We’ll start with a big one here: if your doors or windows don’t properly close, they might need to be replaced. If they open and shut with relative ease, most of the other winter heat issues caused by windows and doors can be fixed with a can of exterior caulk. You can use it to fill up all cracks in your door and window frames. earn more about how to apply the exterior caulking to make it last longer.  

Weather stripping can also help correct these situations, and you’ll want to make sure you’re addressing problems on both sides of your doors and windows. 

If you’re still feeling a draft, even after caulking and weather stripping, it might be wise to invest in some heavy curtains to aid in keeping your home warm. 

Chimney health

Your chimney needs to be cleaned out every year in order to keep your home’s heating efficient and safe. A highly flammable substance called creosote will build up in chimneys with wood-burning fires and you’ll need to make sure it’s cleared out.

Get your thermostat in order

One of the primary causes of poor energy efficiency in the winter months is failure to properly set up your home’s thermostat. We’re tempted to just crank the temperature during the cold days, but this always leads to a huge spike in our energy bills. 

Many modern thermostats and furnace systems are built to take things like our sleep and work schedules into account when heating the house. Consider Rümi’s thermostat installation services to ensure that your home’s heating system is working smart rather than hard this winter. 

Change the HVAC filters

This is an important part of winter-readiness that often gets overlooked. In fact, your furnace filter should be changed at least every 4 – 6 weeks during the winter season and at least once during every other season. A good rule of thumb is to remove your filter and hold it up to the light. If you cannot see light through it, then it’s time to change it.  

When these filters get dirty and clogged up, your entire HVAC has to work harder and gets damaged while increasing your energy bills. Rümi’s duct and furnace services can help if you need your furnace tuned up, repaired or replaced.  

Cleaning the fridge coils

Ok, this is where we start to lose folks, but please trust us - this is an unspoken key to creating a more energy efficient home. Your fridge coils may be clogged with dirt, grime, animal hair and food particles. All these add dollars and cents to your heating bill every month. 

Coils are always located on the back or bottom of your fridge, and they look like an intricate grill grate. They can be cleaned out using a vacuum or a coil brush. 

Insulate the pipes

This step can be as simple as using old towels or an insulated blanket to wrap your exposed hot water pipes. Target the drafty areas, like the basement and near exterior walls. By doing this, your heater doesn’t have to work nearly as hard to make the water hot. This is also a great way to ensure that your pipes won’t burst on really cold nights. 

Ask for help

It only takes a few hours to make your home more energy efficient and ready for the next few months. You’ll thank yourself on winter’s chilliest evenings. If you would like a little extra peace of mind, the Virtual Home Inspectors at Rümi can help!

A Rümi Home Advisor will join you on a virtual tour of your home. They'll identify and assess the most common household pain points, answer your questions and take all of the pesky guesswork out of winterizing your home. 

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