Winter is a time of conflict for many Canadians. When temperatures dip below freezing as they do this time of year, it’s tempting to turn up your home’s thermostat and pretend the cold doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, cranking the thermostat not only increases the temperature inside your home but also raises your heating bills along with it.
If you’re losing your cool over heating costs this winter, these 11 tips will help you stay toasty without breaking the bank:
1. Use your thermostat wisely
When you are home, set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature, usually between 18°C and 20°C. When it’s time to go to bed, or if you’ll be leaving the house for a few hours, turn the temperature down a few degrees.
2. Dress appropriately indoors
If the temperature in your home warrants wearing t-shirts and shorts, it may be time to lower the setting on your thermostat. The temperature inside your home should be set so that you’re comfortable in a sweater and long pants.
3. Crack down on leaks
Keep the warmth in by reducing the heat that escapes through the nooks and crannies of your home. Caulk and weather-strip windows, door frames and vents that lead outdoors. Also, insulate electrical outlets and switches that are placed on exterior walls.
4. Take advantage of the sun
If you have windows that get direct sunlight, open your curtains and blinds on sunny days for a natural way to warm up your space. When the sun sets, close your drapes to keep the cool air out.
5. Close the damper on your fireplace
A damper that is permanently in the open position is similar to having a window open. When you’re not using your fireplace, close the damper to reduce the escape of warm air.
6. Clean your furnace’s filter
Your furnace’s filter should be cleaned or replaced every month or two during the heating season. A dirty filter forces the furnace to work harder which leads to higher energy costs.
7. Focus the heat on the rooms you’re in most
Minimize the heat sent to unused rooms. Close the heating vents and doors in rooms you don’t typically use to focus the heat in frequented areas.
8. Give your vents the space they need
Keep your vents clear of obstructions. Move furniture or carpets that may be blocking a vent and pull back curtains to ensure the warm air can circulate unimpeded. Every now and again, clean the vents to remove dust or pet hair.
9. Keep the garage door closed
As much as you can, keep the door to your garage closed. Even if you’re only going out for a short time, an open garage door will lead to drafts and a chilly home.
10. Don’t overuse exhaust fans
Using fans to air out your kitchen or bathroom also pulls the warm air out of your home. Use them sparingly and don’t forget to turn them off when they’ve done their job.
11. Use ceiling fans to your advantage
Ceiling fans aren’t just for summer use. In winter, your ceiling fans can help push warm air, that naturally rises, down. The trick is to have them rotate clockwise at a low setting.
Warm up to savings on your insurance bills
Your heating bill isn’t the only bill you should try to put on ice this winter. Your insurance bills could be lower too. Last year, for example, InsuranceHotline.com shoppers saved $427* on average after comparing auto insurance quotes with us and you could as well. All it takes is a few short minutes to compare quotes from our network of more than 30 insurance providers for your lowest rates. Compare quotes today and cozy up to insurance savings this winter.
* For consumers who saved on InsuranceHotline.com, the average savings from Jan-Nov 2018 was $427. The average savings amount represents the difference between the consumers' recorded current premium and the lowest premium generated by InsuranceHotline.com.