Yes, winter is coming, and we’re excited about that! Even though some Canadians make a national sport about complaining about the weather, in fact we love enjoying the beauty of snowfalls, cozying up around fires, warm comfort food, and the huge variety of outdoor activities, from skiing and ice skating, to snowman-building. But all that winter fun couldn’t be possible without drastically reduced temperatures, and that means disappointing prospect of steep heating bills. While spending more on energy in winter is inevitable, there are simple and affective steps you can take to cut heating costs in Canada. We at Settle-in.com have put together a list of our best cost-effective tips for reducing your heating bill this winter.
Remember, the primary purpose for heating your house or apartment is keeping your body warm. While it may be enticing to crank your heat up a few extra notches, a better solution to warming up after a chilly trip outside is wearing more clothes. When you enter the house, keep your warm wool socks on, and layer up with a wool sweat and Long Johns (long underwear). When you’re sitting on the couch, have a blanket handy too. That extra layer of warmth means you’ll be able to keep you’re thermostat at 20 degrees celsuis, which can result in a 15 per cent decrease on your energy bill!
Avoid heating unused spaces.
Do you have a spare bedroom that rarely gets used, or a dining room that nobody sets food in (except for a fancy Christmas dinner)? There’s no reason to heat the parts of your house that you’re not in. Avoid paying more than you need to by closing the doors to these rooms and laying a “draft snake” at the bottom of the doors.
Insulate your windows.
It may take a little work, but insulating your windows in winter is one of the best ways to cut heating costs in Canada. There are plenty of cost-effective options. Pair weather insulation film (an inexpensive option) with heavy curtains or cellular shades that can match the decor of your interior. Or pick up some rubber weather seal at the hardware store and use it on places where there’s a draft.
Turn down the heat at night.
It may feel decadent to get into bed with the heat going full blast, but there’s science behind lowing the temperature. A recent National Sleep Foundation study found that the magic temperature for a sound night sleep is actually 65 degrees fahrenheit, or just above 18 degrees celsius. That’s good news for your wallet, too – cutting a couple degrees off the thermostat at night will chop dollars off your heating bill. And remember, there’s always blanket. Invest in a warm comforter and have an extra fleece blanket handy for an extra layer of warmth.
Ceiling fans aren’t just for summer.
They do wonders in the summer months, when you want to keep your home cool, but ceiling fans also help cut home heating costs in Canada during the winter. Because heat rises, getting those blades spinning will help push the warm air being generated back down to your level, and keep it circulating throughout the house.
Use a candle to check for drafts.
The pricier way to check for leaky spots in your home’s infrastructure is to hire professionals to conduct a home energy audit. But the do-it-yourself way to identify drafts and leaks is by using a candle. To do this, light a candle and then carry it around your home, holding it up to doors, windows, power outlets and other potentially drafty spots. If the flame flickers or the smoke wafts sideways, you’ve found yourself a problem spot.
Caulking is your friend.
Once you’ve put the candle to work, and have gotten some results, take the time to use weather stripping or calking on door and window frames, power outlet, spots where pipes or cables come into the house, and any other drafty areas. Remember that caulking doesn’t last for ever. When it (inevitably) deteriorates, those drafts will return, so be sure to check periodically and re-caulk when necessary.
Service your furnace.
Be sure to show your furnace some love, get it inspected and buy a service plan to keep your furnace healthy. Professionals can come to clean it, and keep it running smoothly, which is sure to shave dollars off your heating bill. If your furnace is old and inefficient, investing in a new one may cost you, but it’ll pay for itself in the years to come.
Here comes the sun.
The sun may not necessarily feel so warm in the winter, but it is still generating lots of energy that you can strategically capture in your house and use to help heat it. To do this, make use of your blinds and curtains. When the sun goes down, keep them closed. This will help insulate and keep heat inside. During the daylight hours, open them up and let the sun come streaming in.
Your oven, your friend.
Not only will your oven be your best friend when it comes to creating hearty and delicious winter comfort food, but the heat it generates can be used to keep your home warm long after the food is done cooking. Once your finished roasting your meal, turn of the oven but keep the oven door open to let a burst of warm air into your kitchen to cut heating costs in Canada.
Invest in a space heater.
Space heaters costs only about 11 cents per hour to run. They’re a great way to get added heat to specific rooms you are in, which means you can turn down the heat a couple notches in the rooms your not in and cut on overall costs – a sure-fire way to cut heating costs in Canada. If you invest in one of these cost-saving heaters, remember to keep them away from bedding, curtains and other fabrics that can catch on fire.
Want to master your move to Canada? Sign up for Settle-in.com and get full access to all of our relocation tools and expert guides. To learn more about heating your home, read the “Services and Utilities” section of “The Guide.”
Red more great articles from Settle-in.com:
- Insulating Your Windows for Winter
- Winter Clothing in Quebec
- 7 Tips for Staying Warm in Winter In a Power Outage in Quebec