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10 energy saving winter hacks

Winter Home in woods

The holiday season can be full of cheer, but it can also be expensive. Heating costs at this time can eat up a large portion of your energy bill. Follow these winter hacks from Hydro One so you can keep heating costs down:

  1.  Keep the cold out by sealing your windows with plastic sheeting. It'll prevent wind from seeping in through spaces between the window and the wall.
  2. Use a slow cooker instead of the oven. A slow cooker uses 65 per cent less energy in seven hours than an electric oven uses in just one hour.
  3. Make the house festive while saving energy by using LED lights. Not only do they use 80 per cent less energy than incandescent lights, they last longer too. Unplug your holiday lights before you leave the house to avoid draining unnecessary energy.
  4. Clear the space around your radiator to make sure that it allows heat to circulate efficiently. Don't block it with furniture or other household items.
  5. When entertaining, turn the furnace down. Cooking and having extra people in your home will help maintain a comfortable temperature.
  6. Lower the temperature in your home when you are sleeping or away.
  7. Make sure your furnace is running smoothly by inspecting the filter. Hold a light bulb up behind the filter and if you can't see the bulb, it's time for a new one.
  8. On sunny winter days, trap warm air inside by opening window coverings to let the rays warm your home. Once the sun goes down, close window coverings to keep the warmth in.
  9. If air is coming in from under your doors, try making a draft stopper. All you need is some fabric, plastic bags or foam for stuffing and a couple of stitches.
  10.  If you have a fireplace you never use, consider getting it sealed, since warm air is sucked out if the damper is open. If you do enjoy sitting by the fire, make sure you turn down your main thermostat. Fires can actually draw heat from the room up the chimney so your furnace has to work even harder.

Find more tips on saving energy at www.hydroone. com/forhome.

Symptoms offer clues in telling cold and flu apart

Cold Flu Season

We've all heard someone mention that they have a touch of the flu. But was it the flu, or was it a really bad cold?

It can be difficult to tell them apart as symptoms can be very similar. While the common cold can make you feel really sick, the flu can lead to serious health problems like pneumonia.

Here's some information on how symptoms may present differently in a cold versus the flu.

  • Fever: Rare in a cold, but quite common with the flu. It usually starts suddenly and can last up to three or four days.
  • General aches and pains: You can experience these with a cold, but they are typically mild. With the flu, aches and pains are very common and often severe — they have been described as feeling like you've been run over by a truck.
  • Feeling tired and weak: If you have a cold, you can sometimes feel tired and weak, but the feeling will often be quite mild. However, that feeling is very common with the flu, and this can last two to three weeks or even more.
  • Fatigue. It is very unusual to experience extreme tiredness with a cold, so if you have this symptom it's a good sign that you may have the flu. It is quite common to feel extremely tired with the flu and this usually starts early.
  • Sneezing. While sneezing happens often with a cold, you are likely to only sneeze sometimes when you have the flu.
  • Chest discomfort and/or coughing. You can on occasion experience mild-to-moderate chest discomfort and/or coughing with a cold --but it can be severe with the flu.

If you think it's the flu, stay home and get plenty of rest. Call your doctor or nurse practitioner if you don't start to feel better after a few days, or if you feel worse.

Anyone who is in a high-risk group such as seniors, children under five, pregnant women and individuals with underlying health conditions such as asthma should contact their primary health care provider as soon as they experience any of the above flu symptoms.

Did you know installing a whole home humidifier like Aprilaire 600 could kill the virus in your home. Tiny water molecules attach themselves to floating cold or flu virus in the air and drop them to the floor. 

Find more information online at ontario.ca/flu.

Source : News Canada

Water heater operational information

  • Always ensure the area surrounding the water heater is free of flammable & combustbale materials
  • Ensure sufficient air supply for proper combustion & ventilation
  • Inspect the area around the water heater on a regular basis for any sign of water leakage.
  • Never wrap your water heater with an insulating blanket
  • For your safety, if you smell gas, open windows immediately, don't touch electrical switches, extinguish any open flame and call your gas provider.

How to winter-proof your home

No matter how cold winter gets, we can help you stay toasty warm and fuel efficient.

5 tips to keep your home comfortable and energy efficient.

one  Get an Ultra Smart Thermostat. An Ultra Smart Thermostat, such as the iComfort® S30, is both convenient and helps save energy. With Ultra Smart features like Schedule IQ and Smart Away®, the thermostat adapts heating and cooling to match your routine and help lower energy costs substantially.
 
two  Have your furnace serviced. A properly adjusted furnace runs more efficiently, saving you up to 5% on your winter heating costs.
 
three  Seal up energy-wasting drafts. Draft guards are a cheap and effective way of stopping heat from escaping under doors.
 
four  Turn your ceiling fans to clockwise. This pushes the warm air near the ceiling down into the room, raising the room's temperature without turning up the thermostat.
 
five  Dress warmly. Wear layers of clothing, even inside the house. This will keep you warm and allow you to turn your thermostat down a few degrees, helping you save energy.

 

4 energy myths busted

Check out these common misconceptions about energy that could help you save a bundle this winter.

1. Heat pumps only heat.

Not only can heat pumps cut heating costs by up to 50 per cent, they provide energy-efficient home cooling and dehumidifying in summer months.

2. LEDs are expensive.

LED prices have come down so much in recent years, their value is clearer than ever. They pay for themselves quickly by using up to 75 per cent less energy and lasting 25 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.

3.Crank the thermostat for faster heating.

This only wastes energy. Enjoy better temperature control with a programmable or adaptive thermostat that you can adjust from any location for comfort.

4. When electronics are off, they're off.

If they're plugged in, many devices continue to use small amounts of power even after they've been turned off. This is known as “phantom power,” and it can contribute to higher energy bills.

Learn more at www.hydroone.com/forhome.

Source : newscanada .com

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