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​With only a few months left of cold winter weather, it's tempting to hide indoors and crank up the thermostat until spring finally arrives—but staying warm while saving energy is easier than you might think.

From insulating your floor with area rugs to cleaning your furnace filter, here are some of the most energy efficient ways to keep your home feeling cozy.

1. Don't neglect your furnace

Make a habit of checking your furnace every month to ensure it's running smoothly. Abnormal smells, a discoloured pilot light and banging noises can be signs that your furnace needs to be serviced.

A clogged filter can also impact its efficiency. The average furnace filter needs to be replaced every 30-90 days or if you notice a heavy amount of dirt or dust that may be preventing air from circulating.

2. Seal out the cold

Did you know that one of the most common causes of heat loss in your home comes from cracks, holes and gaps around windows and doors? Frost or ice on window frames and drafts around exterior doors are signs that hot air is escaping your home and your furnace has to work harder to keep it a consistent temperature.

Replacing your home with ENERGY STAR-certified windows and doors isn't always the cheapest option, but it is the most effective. For value-conscious alternatives, try using an insulator kit from your local hardware store to help seal leaks or add clear plastic sheeting on windows for added insulation.

3. Use area rugs to insulate

Thinking about redecorating? Now's the time! Simply adding an area rug can help insulate the floor by trapping cool air underneath and creating a barrier between chilly wood or tile and your feet.

4. Get smart with your thermostat

Nobody likes to come home to a cold house, but leaving your thermostat on high while you're out can make your energy consumption skyrocket. With a smart thermostat, you can set a schedule or manually adjust the temperature settings so that it operates in eco-friendly mode when you're not at home and turns the heat back up before you walk through the door.

5. Check on your chimney

There's nothing better than warming up on winter nights in front of the fireplace, but forgetting to close the damper when it's not in use is like leaving a window open. The fireplace damper acts as a seal and when it's open, hot air can easily escape and be replaced with the chilly outdoor air.

6. Switch up your ceiling fan

Did you know that switching the direction that your ceiling fan spins can help cool and heat your home? When your fan rotates clockwise, its blades will pull cool air up towards the ceiling and push warmer air down to help heat the room.

7. Open your oven door

While sneaking a peek inside your oven when you're cooking is a sure-fire way to waste energy, leaving your oven door open once it's turned off can give an extra boost of warmth to your kitchen.

8. Naturally heat your home

Opening your blinds or curtains during the day allows the sun to shine through and naturally boost the temperature inside your home. Don't forget to close them again in the evening to trap in the heat!

With a few small changes, you can notice a big difference in both the warmth of your home and your overall efficiency this winter. Looking for more easy hacks to use at home? Check out our blog!


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Customers are free to purchase natural gas services or electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).