Is your home ready for the winter?

October is FortisBC’s PowerSense month. Take an energy saving quiz and enter to win a $500 family prize pack.

A complete breakdown of the average home’s energy use.

A complete breakdown of the average home’s energy use.

While October is best known for its collection of ghosts and goblins, it’s also a great time to scare away high energy use.

“In the winter energy use increases by almost 50 per cent compared with summer months,” said Tom Loski, vice president, customer service, FortisBC in a release.

“Energy efficient upgrades could help lower your heating costs. When homeowners upgrade the insulation in their walls, basement and attic they save, on average, 30 per cent on their energy bill.”

Knowing where energy is used is the first step to energy conservation. Conduct a seasonal inspection of your home to seek out areas that need sealing or upgrading.

Here are a few simple tips:

– Seal the cracks. Window caulk applied to both the interior and exterior windows can help keep out cold winter drafts.

– Weatherstrip the gaps. For exterior doors and windows that open, apply weatherstripping where the two surfaces meet.

– Install a programmable thermostat. Set it for 17 C when out or asleep and 20 C when home and save up to 15 per cent on home heating costs.

– Go low‐flow. Today’s low‐flow showerheads deliver the same level of pressure but with much less water than older models.

– Star light, star bright – When incandescent bulbs burn out, replace them with ENERGY STAR lighting and save on electricity.

– Give your appliances some TLC. Getting appliances like furnaces, fireplaces and heat pumps serviced by a registered contractor will keep them operating as efficiently as possible.

To learn about home’s energy use and ways to save energy and money on utility bills, tour FortisBC’s PowerSense virtual Energy House, and take the energy saving quiz to enter to win 1 of 5 $500 family prize packs. For more information, visit fortisbc.com/footprints.