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Preparing your home for the winter

The cost of electricity has skyrocketed.
But it's not just the cost we should concern ourselves with.It's the waste of energy as heat escapes through any small cracks in our homes. You can test the drafty spots with a candle. Just pass the lit candle around the doors, windows and electrical outlets on the outside walls of your home and if there's movement you've got a drafty spot and you'll need to attend to it.
Here are a few things to look for.

1) Seal all gaps or air leaks in your home, including pipes, heating ducts, exhaust fans and ceiling fixtures. 
2) Finish your basement. Rough basements walls need insulation. Insulate all water pipes and around windows. 
3) Calk to seal all the gaps around doors and window upstairs too. This will keep the cold air out and the warm air in.  Make sure your attic has enough insulation. 
4) Have an annual fall inspection of your heating system to ensure it runs efficiently for the coming cold months. Replace furnace filters regularly.
5) Buy LED lights for Christmas decorations this year. Time to give up the old ones. LED lights use 90% less energy and will last much longer.
6) We have less daylight in the winter, so we need artificial light for longer periods. Learn to turn the lights off when you leave a room. 
7) Use the short drying cycle on your dryer. Don't overload it as it will only require more drying time and more hydro use.
8) Learn to turn your heat down a couple of notches and wear a sweater and woolly socks. 
It doesn't take a lot to make a difference to your electric bill or the comfort of your home. Consider making a few small changes and fixes to lighten your winter maintenance costs.