Simple Ways To Winterize Your Home And Lower Your Heating Bill.

Experts estimate that the average Canadian could spend over $1,800 on electricity and natural gas bills, with a good portion of that cost owing to cold drafts and lost heat during the winter months. Here are some hints to lower heating costs.

Furnace Filters:

Check furnace filters once a month for dust buildup and replace if necessary. At minimum, clean or replace them every three months, as a dirt and dust clogged filter will hinder the efficient operation of the furnace. A furnace typically should get a checkup every two years in order to identify issues, preventing expensive breakdowns.

Thermostat Settings:

Setting your thermostat back by 5°C for eight hours a day can help you save as much as 15% off your heating bill. It is most efficient to keep your home at 20-22°C when you’re at home, and at 16°C to 18°C otherwise (when no one is home, and at bedtime). Using a programmable thermostat is worth the investment. Don’t worry, contrary to belief, your furnace doesn’t actually work extra hard to bring the temperature back up.

Eavestrough Maintenance:

When temperatures outside are still comfortable (before freezing), clean your gutters and downspouts of leaves and and any debris which can clog. This will avoid melting ice seeping into your roof shingles.

Fireplaces:

This is also a good time to check the fireplace damper to ensure it is operational. Remember to close the damper when not in use.

Attic Insulation:

When it snows on your roof, and the snow doesn’t melt, that is an indication that your attic is well insulated. In other words, the snow not melting is a good sign!

Windows:

For obvious drafts originating from window sills or sashes, the best remedy is weather stripping. Or perhaps the reason for the draft is a lack of insulation at the window jambs (where the window meets the wall) or behind moldings. Re-caulk areas where there is open space between the window casing and the house. Other do-it-yourself methods include plastic insulating film, bubble wrap, and insulating drapes. An efficient solution is adding storm windows with energy star certification.
Keep curtains open during the day to allow the warmth of the sun, and close them at night to help keep precious heat in.

Doors

Replace worn or damaged door seals and door sweeps, if you feel a draft in these areas, or if you can see light through where the door meets the frame, you will know it’s time for repairs. The do it yourselfer will find these easily replaceable items at your local hardware store. Stopping the cool drafts originating from these areas will keep you cozier, and reduce your heating bill.

Door and window draft snakes work well too, and some of them are adorable.

Close the doors and the heat vents in unused rooms. Keep the vents open in the basement though, even if you don’t use that space much, as a cold basement will make the first floor of your home feel cold.

Other Ideas to Keep Warm!

Ceiling fans will push the warmer air down and balance the temperature in the room.
After using the oven, leave the oven door open to make use of the heat.
Put on a sweater, socks and cosy slippers instead of turning up the thermometer. It’s great to snuggle up on the couch with a blanket to watch TV or while enjoying a novel.
Please share your tips on keeping warm with us! 🙂