Winter is on its way and along with snow, freezing temperatures it can also bring increases heating costs. Here are a few tips to avoid the cold and the bills.
You can still keep toasty at home without aggressively cranking up the heat. Turning down the heat by just a few degrees while you’re out of the house and when you’re sleeping can really help you save on your monthly heating bill – about 3 per cent for every degree. To make things even easier, opt for a programmable thermostat to automatically regulate the temperature in your home.
Remember to heat yourself first! Wearing warm sweaters, long sleeves, wool socks and cozy slippers will help you stay warm indoors after you’ve turned down the thermostat to a lower, but still comfortable temperature.
Avoid spending money on heating empty rooms in your home by using a space heater instead. Space heaters are the perfect way to heat up the most popular rooms in your home, without wasting money on keeping unused rooms heated.
If your home is not properly insulated, now is your chance to change that. Proper insulation will help keep the hot air in your home and the cold air outside, where it belongs. And don’t forget about the basement – homeowners sometimes overlook insulating the basement, which ends up making their home colder during the winter months.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home, make sure to shut the chimney flue when you’re not using it to keep warm air from escaping up and out of your home.
Ceiling fans help circulate the cool air produced by your air conditioner in summertime. By the same token, in winter they can also help keep warm air down to people-level, since warm air rises. Use your ceiling fan to help keep the heat in your home from floating up and away.
Draw back the curtains and blinds in the daytime to let in as much natural sunlight as possible, especially with your south facing windows. Filling your home with natural light will help warm your home on sunny days. Natural sunlight is also beneficial for those you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder during the chilly winter months.
Your taps and pipes aren’t the only things that can leak around your home! Air leaks around your doors, windows, electrical outlets, pipes or wires can cost you an extra 10 to 20 per cent on your heating bill this winter. To detect and seal any air leaks in your home, wait for a cold day when the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors is at least 30 degrees – this will make it easier to find those air leaks. Seal the gaps with weather stripping or caulk – you can purchase these at most home improvement stores. Putting up clear plastic sheeting over your windows can also help with insulation.
Your water heater gets cold in the winter, too! If your water heater is older and more inefficient, consider purchasing and installing a water heater jacket. You can find these at your local home improvement store and install them yourself.
To save even more on household expenses, make sure that you’re getting the most value out of your home insurance. Get a quote today to see how easy it is to save on property insurance, while protecting your home and family.