Wintertime in Alberta can be a lot to deal with. Temperatures routinely dip below zero degrees celsius, and snowstorms are common. It's easy to use a lot of energy to keep a home warm and comfortable. 

That being said, it’s important to conserve energy when possible to save money on utility bills and help reduce the household's carbon footprint. Luckily, there are ways to save energy during the Albertan winter without sacrificing comfort.

Switch To LED Lighting

An easy way to conserve energy during the winter — and all year long — is by switching to LED lighting throughout the home. LED light bulbs use significantly less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. And here's a bonus: LED light bulbs last much longer, so they won’t have to be replaced nearly as often, saving even more money.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Utilities are just a piece of the cost of living in Edmonton and other cities, and residents tend to have higher bills in the winter due to trying to keep their homes at a comfortable temperature. An easy way to save energy during the winter is by investing in a programmable thermostat. 

Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to set temperature schedules that adjust automatically throughout the day. This means they don’t have to worry about manually changing temperatures when no one is home or when everyone is asleep at night.

Insulate a Home

One of the best ways to reduce a home’s energy use is by insulating it properly. Attics, crawl spaces, and walls are the most common places to add or update insulation. A well-insulated home requires less energy usage than an uninsulated one because there's no heat leakage in the winter and no cold leakage in the summer. That means the heater won’t have to work as hard to keep your home at the temperature you want. 

Lower the Water Heater Temperature

The water heater works hard during the winter; therefore, it’s important to ensure it doesn’t use more energy than necessary. Lowering the water heater temperature by only a few degrees can save money over time. And, doing so accomplishes energy savings without compromising hot showers!

Here's another idea: An insulated tank blanket can be installed around the water heater. This is an added step of protection that will help keep heat from escaping. Just be sure you’re not covering anything important like controls or air passages.

Weatherstrip Doors and Windows

Weatherstripping is an essential part of preparing your home for winter. Installing weatherstripping around windows and doors provides effective insulation against drafts, which helps to keep expensive heated air from escaping the home. This reduces the amount of energy that is used to heat the house and keeps energy bills lower.

Doors and windows can easily be weatherstripped with caulking or foam strips found in most hardware stores. Caulk should be applied inside frames, sills, and around cracks, while foam can be placed between each window pane or along a door frame to close any small gaps.

Conserving Energy: Next Steps

The first step to conserving energy is to put these tips into action. A homeowner can go through the list above line-by-line to ensure these are implemented. By taking simple actions such as increasing insulation, installing a programmable thermostat, and lowering the water heater temperature a few degrees, homeowners can enjoy staying comfortable throughout the Albertan winter without running up the utility bills.