It comes as no surprise that the majority of Canada is cold for most of the year. There is no place in Canada where you can get away without heating your home for part of the year, even here in British Columbia. Reducing your heating bill by as little as 10% could save you hundreds of dollars annually!
12 Ways to Save Money on Home Heating
- Get an electric throw. Electric blankets are usually as large as any other blanket, draping over the sides and end of the bed where you don’t need it. An electric throw is smaller (and affordable), but still does the trick. Plus, it’s more portable so you can snuggle into one while you’re in any room. Turn the heat down in the room when you use it.
- Turn down the heat when you’re at work or if you’re going to be on another floor of your home for several hours. There’s no reason to heat a bedroom during the day, for example. Make it easier by purchasing a Programmable Thermostat, which allows you to program times and temperatures.
- Invest in insulated drapes. Let sunshine warm the room but close your blinds or drapes once the sun goes down to help keep the heat in and the cold out.
- Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t stop using bathroom and stove fans to reduce heat loss. Use bathroom fans and stove fans to keep the air circulating. While it seems like warm air is being sucked out of your home, it’s actually easier and cheaper to heat dry air than moist air, so one offsets the other. It will also reduce the risk of mold.
- Install foam gaskets on electrical outlets if you feel a draft from them.
- Check your weatherstripping and caulking around doors and windows. Weatherstripping typically lasts about 5 years. How long caulking lasts varies widely depending on what type was used. You’ll see signs of wear such as cracking or gaps when it’s time to replace it.
- Check for gaps under your door and raise the threshold if necessary.
- Check pipe, wiring or anything else leading to the outside. Use aerosol expanding foam and caulking to seal up the drafty spaces.
- Maintain your furnace with an annual cleaning and filter replacement. Make your radiators more efficient by investing in a reflector and an automatic bleeder or radiator key.
- Apply plastic over your windows. You can do this with any plastic but it’s easiest if you buy the heat shrinking film. If you don’t like the appearance of it, only do those windows that aren’t visible when company drops by.
- “Bank” your house with snow. Pack snow around the base of your house for some extra insulation in the Winter.
- You can come up with your own routines that will save on the heat bill too. For me, that means keeping a warm sweater in the living room. I have to put that on before deciding it’s cold enough to use our gas fireplace.
Energy efficiency is encouraged by the Canadian government for the benefit of the environment. That means there are some very good energy efficiency grants, tax breaks and rebates available in Canada, at the federal, provincial, and even municipal level. These may cover everything from retrofitting to alternative energy, such as solar panels. You’ll need an energy audit for many grants… or you can become an energy auditor yourself and get in on eco-opportunities! For more information, check out your provincial or municipal government websites, local power companies, and Natural Resources Canada.
??? Have you found ways to save on your heating bill? Please share your tips in the comments below.
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