5 easy ways to winterize your home

These easy steps will help make your home more energy efficient, plus save you money on your heating bills.

2 ways to winterize your home
Winter is on its way, bringing icy winds, frigid temperatures, and for some of us, utility bills that could make your blood run cold. Fortunately, by taking a few simple steps before the big freeze, you can create a greener, more energy efficient home that will also be easier on the wallet.

Seal up those hidden leaks

One of the simplest ways to retain heat and reduce energy costs this winter is by installing proper weather-stripping and caulking around the house. According to Hydro One, up to 40 per cent of home heat loss in winter is due to air leakage, and if you added up all the cracks and leaks in the average Canadian home it would be like having a hole in your wall the size of a basketball.

Once all doors and windows are properly sealed, it's time to plug those less obvious air leaks. An easy way to find hidden drafts is to hold a lit stick of incense around baseboards, light fixtures and electrical outlets – a strong leak will make the stick glow brighter and blow the smoke away, while smaller leaks will puff the smoke in a distinct direction.

Invest in a programmable thermostat
It's wasteful to heat an empty house, so why not take advantage of a programmable thermostat? The David Suzuki Foundation recommends automatically lowering your household temperature while you sleep or are away at work, and bringing the heat back up when you wake or arrive home. With proper use, you'll never notice the difference in temperature, but your bank account certainly will — you could end up saving more than 10 per cent on your home heating costs. And now, with so many easy-to-use Energy Star certified options, like the new Ecobee Smart Thermostat, you can change your home heating and cooling preferences whenever you want with at-home display panels or online through your WiFi network.

Page 1 of 2 -- Find out why getting your furnace and water pipes checked by a professional saves you money in the long run with more home maintenance tips on page 2 

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