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A Seasonal Guide for Everyday Energy Saving

As a homeowner, you’re always on the lookout for ways to save money on your energy bills without compromising comfort. The good news is that you don't need to be an expert or hire professionals to make a difference in your energy consumption.

The best part? Your friends at ATCOenergy are here to help. We'll take a seasonal approach, providing practical, quick and easy energy-saving tips that you can use year round. Little by little, it makes a big difference!

The best home energy-saving tips for every season 

Your energy saving strategies, just like the weather, will be different depending on the time of year. We've broken it down by season to make it easy to maximize these energy saving tips.

Spring energy saving tips: Let the fresh air in 

As the weather warms up, use fresh air to cool your home and use less air conditioning as the weather gets warmer. Let’s be honest, you probably won’t need A/C until July in Alberta!

By cracking open those windows and doors, you can use the fresh chinook breeze to create cross-ventilation. By allowing air to circulate through your living spaces, you can be living your breeziest life. Be sure your window screens offer protection to keep insects out while letting the breeze in.

Remember to keep your air conditioner tuned up. You can hire a pro for the regular maintenance, or give it some at-home TLC by cleaning or replacing filters yourself. A well maintained unit will operate efficiently, saving you energy and money in the long run.

Daily Tip: Remember that when you’re not home, your air conditioner doesn’t need to be running. Especially in the spring months, try using portable or ceiling fans to circulate air within your home.

Go a step further and keep your windows open during the evening and into the night to let in brisk air. Alberta's spring evenings naturally create a comfortable environment without overusing your air conditioner. 

Summer energy saving tips: Beat the heat & stay shady 

Summer brings the challenge of soaring temperatures, but there's several energy-saving tricks you can use to keep A/C costs down.

Start by evaluating your home’s shade factor — we’re talking curtains, blinds, tinted windows, you name it. By blocking out the sun during the hottest parts of the day, you’ll be helping to keep your home's temperature comfortable. Installing curtains is a super easy DIY project and a great way to add some elegance to your home. Opt for a floor-to-ceiling look for maximum sun protection and to give the illusion of taller ceilings.

The summer months mean warmer temperatures but also longer days. It's the perfect time to make use of electrical energy-saving tips. Opt for natural light during the day, and in the evenings, switch your household bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs. 

This adjustment reduces unwanted heat production that you might notice from traditional incandescent bulbs. It's also easier on your energy bill! 

Daily Tip: When cooking on a hot summer day, try to use smaller appliances like air fryers or slow cookers. Avoid heating your kitchen with the stove or oven. Even better, take things outside with an outdoor grill (added bonus if it's charcoal, you're saving some dollars on your energy bill)!

Fall energy saving tips: Prep for the chill 

As temperatures start to drop, it's time to prepare your home for the colder months. Before the first snow hits, take the chance to seal any gaps or cracks in doors and windows to prevent heat from escaping. You may also want to consider adding or replacing the weatherstripping on your doors to create a tight seal. Ten dollars and ten minutes now, major savings all season! 

Want to learn more about how to prevent heat from escaping through sneaky cracks? Read our blog on Energy-Efficient Home Upgrades for Keeping the Heat In.

Make sure your heating system is in tip-top shape by replacing your furnace filter regularly. And by regularly, we mean every 3 to 6 months. 

Schedule a professional maintenance check with a Rümi expert once a year to make sure your system stays on track and efficient. And don’t forget to adjust your thermostat to a lower temperature when you're away. You can always turn it up when you’re home or wear some extra cozy layers to stay warm. 

Daily Tip:  Embrace the warmth of sunlight by keeping curtains open during the day to naturally heat your home. Close them at night to retain warmth. 

Winter energy saving tips: Keep cozy without overloading your heating system 

Alberta winters famously bring cold weather and shorter days, but there are a few simple strategies to stay warm without cranking up the heat! Remember that new curtain rod you installed in the summer? Swap out the curtains for something that offers a little more thermal insulation. A curtain with multiple layers or panels of fabric is the ticket!  

Speaking of layers, that trendy new sweater you might’ve just bought will keep you cozy inside your home! Consider dressing warmer and using blankets to stay toasty, allowing you to keep the thermostat lower. 

And if you’re feeling hearty, we’ve got a pile more winter energy-saving tips and projects from our friends at Rümi

Daily Tip: Are you the proud owner of a ceiling fan? Don't forget to reverse its direction in the winter months to circulate warm air downward. 

Year-round DIY energy saving tips

Beyond seasonal adjustments, there are everyday habits you can do to maintain energy efficiency all year long. 

  • Unplug electronics and small appliances when not in use. Many devices continue to draw power even when turned off. Unplug chargers, toasters, hair tools, gaming consoles and other electronics when they're not in use. This helps you save on phantom energy consumption. 
  • Set up your computer’s sleep and hibernate modes, and keep it plugged into a power strip with all other personal electronics. That way, you can turn the power strip off when away or not in use. 
  • Use a small lamp to spotlight your work or living space instead of a series of overhead bulbs. Who doesn’t love mood lighting? 
  • Seal any leaky ducts you notice in your crawl space or basement. Leaky ducts can waste a significant amount of energy. If you have exposed ducts that are leaking, you can make a quick repair by getting some foil tape from the hardware store.
    This tip can be used for both heating and cooling ducts to improve your HVAC system's efficiency. Oh, and we’re reminding you one more time for good measure: change your furnace and air filters! 
  • Use energy-efficient appliances. When it's time to replace old appliances, choose energy-efficient models. Look for the ENERGY STAR label, indicating that the appliance meets strict energy efficiency guidelines.
    Bonus tip: Did you know your microwave uses less power than your oven? Use smaller appliances, like a microwave or microwave oven, when reheating leftovers. 
  • Turn down brightness and set automatic eco and energy-saving features on TVs and consoles. So when you fall asleep rewatching your favourite TV show for the 10th time, you won’t be wasting any energy. 
  • Adjust your water heater settings. Lowering the temperature of your water heater can result in substantial energy savings. Set the thermostat to 120°F (49°C) to lower energy use while still getting hot water for your daily needs. 

Although these are DIY tips and tricks, it never hurts to have a helping hand around the house (or maybe DIY is just not your thing!). Count on our neighbours at Rümi, part of our ATCO family, for all your home maintenance needs, big or small. 

Small changes = Big savings 

By implementing these practical, quick, and easy energy-saving tips throughout the year, you'll make a significant impact on your energy bill. Alberta weather can be unpredictable, but taking a seasonal approach allows you to tailor your efforts to the specific challenges each season brings. 

If your energy bill isn't meeting your needs, our energy experts can design a plan for your home and budget. Looking for more green options? We can help with that, too. You are free to adjust it at any time, no penalty!