Winter is a time of conflict for Canadians. When temperatures dip below 0°C as they do this time of year, it may be tempting to turn up the thermostat for the next few months and pretend that the cold doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, cranking the thermostat shoots your heating bills through the roof.
Losing your cool over heating costs? If that lame joke wasn’t enough to keep you reading, how about these 11 tips to save on heat this winter:
1. Use your thermostat wisely
You can save up to three per cent on heating for every degree you lower your thermostat. When you are home, set the thermostat at a low but comfortable temperature, ideally between 16°C and 20°C. If nobody is home during the day, program it to automatically turn down a few degrees for those hours when the house is empty.
2. Identify and seal all cracks and leaks
Up to 25 per cent of heat escapes through the nooks and crannies of your home. Caulk or place weather strips on window frames, door frames, and vents. Plug gaps around pipes and ducts that lead outside, insulate pot lights, and install insulated plates on electrical outlets.
- Related Read: 8 Ways to Get Your Home Winter Ready
3. Take advantage of a free source of heat: the sun
If you have windows that get direct sunlight, open your curtains and blinds on sunny days for a natural source of heat. Keep your drapes closed on cloudy days and during the night.
4. Maintain your furnace
The last thing you want is for your furnace to break down in the dead of winter. Have a professional service it at least once a year. And maintain it by replacing the filter every one to two months while in use. A dirty filter will cost you heating efficiencies as it restricts air flow, causing the furnace to use more energy and run for longer in order to heat your home.
5. Keep the fireplace closed
Cold air can enter your home and heat can escape through your fireplace flue or damper; keep it closed when the fire isn’t lit.
6. Don’t rely on portable heaters
Space heaters may seem like a convenient way to keep warm without touching your thermostat, but they also use a lot of electricity. Portable heaters are also not very helpful when heating a large room; they are most efficient when used in small enclosed areas with the doors closed.
7. Insulate your basement
If you have an unfinished basement, insulate the walls to prevent heat from escaping. Even if you don’t go down there often, a cold basement will make the first floor feel cold as well.
8. Don’t Heat Unused Rooms
Close the vents and doors in rooms you don’t typically use to focus the heat in frequented areas.
9. Rearrange Your Furniture
Move around furniture that may be blocking a vent or air duct.
10. Dress appropriately to stay warm
This is not the time of year to be wearing t-shirts and shorts, even if you’re indoors. Dress warm, but comfortable when you’re home (long pants and sweaters) and use an extra blanket when you’re sleeping.
11. Don’t use exhaust fans for too long
Using these fans to air out your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room also pulls the warm air out of your home. Use them sparingly.
Surely you don’t want to restrict savings to just your heating bill. Want to save on your home insurance as well? Compare home insurance quotes today at InsuranceHotline.com to see if you could be saving even more on your coverage.