The expense of heating your home in the winter can be painful. We want to ease as much of that pain for our customers as possible.
To that end, here are 11 of our favourite tips to cut back on your heating expenses this year without cutting back on your comfort.
Keep heat in.
- Weatherstrip your doors.
- Caulk the windows.
- Cover drafty windows altogether.
- Seal electrical boxes on outdoor walls.
- Tape air leaks in ductwork to keep the heat in.
You spend money to heat the inside of your house, not the area surrounding it, so do everything you can to keep that conditioned air inside.
The big hole in your wall. A.k.a, the wood fireplace.
If you use your wood fireplace nearly every day, make sure to close the damper after fires and install some good quality glass doors to further reduce heat transfer through the chimney.
Unused fireplaces should have their dampers tightly sealed and the chimney plugged with insulation or a chimney balloon. Leaving your fireplace unsealed is like keeping a big window wide open through the winter.
The best move is to install a high efficiency gas fireplace insert so you can actually enjoy the fire and set your furnace to a lower temperature. It’s a tactic many of our own professionals use at home to lower overall heating expenses.
How well insulated are you?
Add insulation all over the house to keep your heat in even better.
Measure the depth of insulation in your:
- Basement headers.
- Attic entrance.
14 inches of insulation in your attic is a good level, and 10 in the basement headers.
Sunny side up.
Leave the blinds and curtains on the sunny side of the house open all day to take advantage of the solar heat. Close the drapes to keep as much heat in as possible when the sun falls behind the horizon.
Heat will still escape through the most energy efficient windows and drawing your window coverings in the evening will help limit that thermal transfer.
Put on another later of clothes.
You don’t have to walk around the house in a winter jacket, but there’s no reason you can’t throw on a heavier sweater at home.
We keep blankets in every common area of the house for friends and family to warm up with.
Use ceiling fans? Yep!
Set your ceiling fans to run clockwise. This will push heat down from the ceiling to mix with the cooler air below.
Use a programmable thermostat.
Lower your home temperatures while you are at work or asleep. Every degree lowered for seven hours a day saves 1% off your heating bill.
The best way to get into better heating habits is with a programmable wifi thermostat. The thermostat allows you to set the furnace to a detailed schedule, alter the temperature from anywhere in the world (as long as you have a phone signal and a smartphone) and can even learn your behaviour so you don’t have to program anything at all.
Heat only the space you use.
Close the vents in rooms you rarely use, then close the doors too. Closed vents will redirect heat to the rooms you do use.
You can also heat the areas you spend the most time with supplemental heat from a:
- Wood stove.
- Portable electric heater.
Unused basements should have a base heat to keep floors and feet above toasty. Warm feet allow for lower air temperatures.
Make sure your furnace and fireplace are maintained.
Maintenance keeps your furnace and fireplace running as efficiently as possible, and efficiency translates to savings.
Change your furnace filters regularly and clean your fireplace chimney twice a season if used regularly.
Humid air feels warmer.
Humidity in the house makes the air feel warmer than it is. With a comfortable level of humidity in the house you can reduce the overall temperature on your thermostat by as much as 5 degrees.
Over the course of several winter months, the savings on those 5 degrees add up.
Upgrade the furnace and/or fireplace.
Technology has improved so much that anything 10 years or older is probably worth replacing. Let us compare your existing costs with those of a new high efficiency furnace. Savings will vary by model. Let us find the right model for you.
Appleby Systems can help you update or maintain your furnace or fireplace to stop you from overspending this winter. To schedule a service or estimate, call us at (905) 825-1893 or visit our showroom at 2086 Speers Rd. in Oakville.