Cents and dollars

Look after the cents and the dollars will look after themselves.
It was actually pennies and pounds when my Grandfather gave me that sage advice years ago in the UK. Yet, how true it is today.
As my wife and I spend more time helping poor people overseas, we always come back and look at the excesses of our western lifestyle and question ourselves. What did we learn from the last trip? Inevitably a plan for yet another garage sale comes together and we dispose of more dust collecting items of not much real interest and question what we really need to survive. The truth is a lot less than we have today!
Pretty soon, we will be joining the many baby-boomers who are looking to downsize their home and find a more suitable property to enjoy the rest of our lives in. Along the way however the adage of looking after the pennies rings true every fall as we move into winter.
Many people, including ourselves go out of their way to be that little bit greener. For my family, we chose to install Geothermal heating and cooling systems saving the planet from having to find a way to absorb more CO2 emissions. I feel good about that, so does my family.
If we don’t look at other simple areas of energy conservation, the money we invested however is being wasted. So before we head into winter, here are a few things to check in and around your home:
  • Check all the weather stripping around your windows and doors and replace as necessary. While a typical HVAC system needs a source of cool air, broken weather stripping is not the most efficient way to accomplish that and will lead to reduced heating efficiency.
  • Examine older window frames for rot and be prepared to repair or replace before the deep freeze sets in.
  • Install heating barriers on single pane window systems if you live in an older home.
  • Inspect windows for cracks and order replacement windows.
  • Trim branches on trees around the home to prevent damage from ice and snow build up.
  • Make sure you have cleaned all chimneys of wood burning stoves and inserts.
  • Clean or replace air filters in your HVAC system.
  • Check smoke alarms and CO alarms to ensure they are working correctly.
  • Consider upgrading an older thermostat to a programmable thermostat to change daytime and night time heating temperatures.
  • Make sure all light fittings have low power fluorescent bulbs.
There are plenty of other home energy saving tips online, particularly from your energy provider such as Fortis or BC Hydro.
Remember, if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves.

More The Accidental Journey articles

About the Author

For the past twenty years Mark has been involved in real estate development and consulting and is currently a REALTOR with Sage Executive Group in Kelowna.

His column, brings a unique perspective on what may be important to us in the future as we come to grips with fast paced change in a world that few people barely recognize.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an Adventurer, Philanthropist and Keynote Speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories