10 Hot Ways to Save On Heat

December 22, 2015

Canadian winters are unpredictable, cold and expensive. Heating your home in the winter is generally the largest contributor to your hydro bill, as almost two thirds of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating our living space. When temperatures reach freezing points, you may be inclined to turn up your thermostat, but here are 10 ways to save money and stay warm this winter.

How to save on heating costs

1. Maintain Your Furnace

Furnaces use less energy when the filters are clean, so clean or replace the filter often during the cold season. It’s typically recommended that the furnace filter be cleaned or replaced every 1 to 2 months.

2. Don’t Overheat Your Home

If certain rooms are hard to heat, consider a portable heater instead of cranking up the thermostat. Also, use ceiling fans to your advantage. Ceiling fans set at slow speed (and spinning clockwise) will spread the heat in the room by forcing warm air near the ceiling down.

3. Program Your Thermostat

Set your thermostat to automatically lower a few degrees when nobody’s home. You can save one to three per cent on your heating costs for every degree you dial down.

4. Invest in Insulation

Check your home for any drafts and places that may need extra insulation, like the attic, ceiling, walls and floors. Replace the seal on doors and windows if necessary, and look for signs of rotting around the frames. Seal cracks where pipes, electrical wires, vents and ducts enter your home. And add special insulation to pot lights and electrical outlets to stop heat from escaping into the attic or outside.

5. Use the Sun

Use this free resource when available. Open the curtains during the day to bring the sun’s heat into the home and close them at night to keep the heat inside.

6. Close the Fireplace

Keep the damper closed unless a fire is burning to stop heat from escaping and cold air from coming in through the chimney.

7. Don’t Heat Unused Rooms

Focus the heat in frequented areas, and close the vents and doors of rooms you do not use. However, cold basements will make the first floor feel cold, so keep heating it even if you don’t go down there often.

8. Rearrange Your Furniture

Move any furniture that may be blocking air ducts. 

9. Use Exhaust Fans Sparingly

Exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom pull air out of your home. Use them only when necessary for short periods of time. 

10. And Remember: This is Canada, not the Bahamas.

Dress appropriately to stay warm, indoors and out. Sweaters and long pants are your friends. And while sleeping, use an extra blanket.

So now you’ve changed your furnace filter, insulated the pot lights and shifted the bookcase that’s been sitting on top of the vent. You’ll be saving money in no time, but you can save even more. Warm up your wallet and shop around for cheaper car insurance rates by using our quoter. By our estimation, you could save up to $670 per year.