How to Save Money on Gas in Your Home this Winter

There are many things about your house that affect the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Some of these include the type of roofing (metal or shingles), building frame, and heating system. You must have heat in all areas of your home because if an item freezes in an unheated area, such as a pipe, your insurance may not cover it.

 What Type of Furnace do you Have?

If your furnace is older than 15 years, you should replace it with a new efficient model to offset high energy prices. In addition to saving money, modern furnaces give off less pollution and produce more heat. An Energy Star® certified forced-air furnace is recommended on the Natural Resources Canada website because it uses 6 per cent less energy.

Check your Furnace Temperature in the Winter

According to Stats Canada, you should have a programmable thermostat to optimize the operation of your furnace. The Canadian Centre for Housing Technology did a study to examine the impact of thermostat temperature on gas and electric furnaces.

The following is what the study discovered with respect to gas furnaces:

  • Using a daytime temperature of 22°C and a nighttime temperature of 18°C resulted in a 6.5 per cent savings.
  • Setting the temperature to 16°C at night and when the home was unoccupied during the day resulted in a 13 per cent reduction in the amount of gas used.

You can use the above as a benchmark for what you set your temperature to during the winter. When Edmonton goes through it’s common deep freezes you might want to adjust your numbers. There are other things to consider such as the type of home you have, if pipes freezing is a concern, and the needs of people in your home such as babies, small children, and seniors.

Monitor Water Heating Costs

Your water heater consumes quite a bit of energy (14 per cent to 25 per cent). If you don’t have an energy-efficient model you should consider buying one to save money on gas. It’s also recommended that your hot water tank is turned to 49°C to save on energy usage.

Use Your Dishwasher!

Did you know that washing dishes in a newer model dishwasher uses less hot water than if you clean dishes by hand? It might sound crazy because dishwashers spray water continually, but they’re really using less water. Washing dishes by hand uses up to 102 litres of water per load; while an efficient dishwasher can use as little as 11 litres.

So, how does using your dishwasher save money on gas? When you wash dishes by hand the water heater makes the water hot. When you use an energy efficient dishwasher it has a heater inside to warm up the water.

To save money on gas you need to have energy efficient appliances such as your furnace, hot water heater, and dishwasher. With the tips presented here you can save money on gas and still enjoy the winter season in comfort.

4 Must-Know Facts About Edmonton’s Icy Sidewalks Bylaws

Did you know that legally, Edmonton residents must keep the sidewalks in front of their house free of snow and ice in the wintertime?

Most Edmontonians do already know that keeping your walkways shovelled is best practice, but simply aren’t in-the-know about some of the incredibly important details.

Here is a quick guide with the most important information about Edmonton’s icy sidewalks bylaws, so that you’ll know when to remove your snow, what needs to be shovelled, and what to do when someone neglects their duties.

You Have 48 Hours to Clear the Snow

Many Edmonton residents believe that snow needs to be removed within 24 hours, but the City allows a 48 hour grace period to clear away snow.

This helps residents with busy schedules get to their snow shovelling duties easier without being in violation of City bylaws.

Remember, however, snow can quickly become packed, turning into hard-to-remove ice, the longer it’s left on the sidewalk and driveway.

Snow Removal is Regulated Through Complaints

If you notice someone in your neighbourhood hasn’t cleared away their snow within the 48 hour grace period, you can call the City of Edmonton and lodge a complaint.

The City doesn’t employ people to wander the streets looking for violations, they instead employ a small number of inspectors who confirm complaints made by residents.

Don’t expect a ticket to arrive at someone’s home magically; you have to be proactive and call.

Everyone Gets One Strike Per Season

When a complaint is lodged with the City, they send out an inspector to investigate.

If the snow is indeed not removed, then the inspector will issue a warning.

The home owner, or person responsible for snow removal, then has seven days to remove the snow.

The inspector returns in seven days and, if the snow isn’t removed, the property owner is issued a ticket.

Subsequent complaints for that year result in a ticket.

No seven-day period, just another ticket.

Roofs and Awnings are Included

When it comes to snow removal, most people only think about the sidewalks and driveways, never thinking to look up at their home.

If you have an awning or roof that hangs over the sidewalk or driveway, basically the paths that people need to take to walk by or up to your property, then that snow needs to be removed as well.

This is to reduce the chances of snow or ice falling onto a passerby, which could lead to serious injuries and a potential lawsuit for the property owner.

Snow on the roof can be removed with an extended pole, but must be done with extreme caution.

Snow removal bylaws in Edmonton can seem complicated, but they’re actually quite simple.

When it snows, you have two days to remove the snow from sidewalks and driveways.

After that, you could receive a complaint that can result in a fine.

However, there can be other consequences as well, like lawsuits that result from injuries, which could be a much more substantial financial burden than a simple fine.

Be sure to keep your walkways well-maintained this winter season for the safety of you, your family, and your neighbourhood.

Edmonton Home Insurance

Sadler Insurance is a full-service insurance brokerage, providing home insurance services to Edmonton and surrounding area. 

Learn more about our home insurance policies, or get in touch with our team to get a quote today!

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How to Save Money on Gas in Your Home this Winter