It’s no secret that Canadian winters are brutal. Once those northern winds start blowing, the gorgeous summer days become a distant memory. The cost of keeping the cold out of your home from November to May can be substantial.
Preparing your home for the winter months and being an eco-savvy homeowner can make a huge impact on your heating bill. Here are some valuable tips for keeping heating costs low this winter.
Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
One of the best ways to get ahead of your heating costs is to schedule a furnace tune-up during the fall. Having a professional look at your furnace and perform some routine maintenance can keep it functioning efficiently. Working with a furnace repair service also ensures that when the temperature plummets, your heat comes on.
During a furnace tune-up, the professional will ensure the key areas of the furnace are clean and free of debris. They’ll also make sure the fans are running properly so that the heat gets distributed throughout your home properly.
Use Clockwise Fans
While fans seem like a tool for keeping us cool during the summer months, they can also help keep your home warmer during the winter. The key to using a fan for this purpose is to make sure it’s turning clockwise. When moving in this direction, the fan will push warm air back down into the room. This simple difference makes a huge impact, as heat rises.
Take some time to clean the dust off your fans and change their direction for the winter months. Keep them on the lowest setting so that they aren’t cooling the air as they force it back down.
Seal Any Drafts
Never underestimate the power of a $20 window sealing kit. If you live in an older building, sealing the drafts on your windows can make a significant difference. These DIY kits give you an adhesive and shrink wrap that you fit around the frame. Then, you use a hairdryer to activate the seal.
It’s also important to be on the lookout for door drafts as well. If your exterior doors are drafty, add some weather stripping and invest in a draft protector.
Install a Smart Thermostat
The idea of a programmable thermostat is nothing new, but smart thermostats take them to the next level. There’s no need for your home to be as warm while you’re at work or sleeping. In fact, there are studies that prove that a lower ambient temperature during the night is an integral part of an ideal sleep environment.
A smart thermostat allows you to program the temperature and make adjustments remotely. Some brands will even send you tips and advice based on your activity to help you cut back and save more.
Close Unused Rooms
If you have any unused or rarely used rooms in your house, consider keeping the door closed. This simple solution prevents heat from circulating into unused rooms, using the air more efficiently. Guest rooms, laundry rooms, and even bathrooms aren’t a place where people tend to spend a lot of time. Keeping these doors closed is an easy way to save.
Use Floor Rugs
Many homeowners have moved away from carpeted flooring for aesthetic and health reasons. However, there was one benefit to plush carpet floors: they act as an insulator.
If you have tile or wood floors, consider adding large area rugs for the winter months. This simple addition will act as an insulator between floors and feel warmer on your feet as you move about your home.
Use Thermal Curtains
Curtains can be an effective insulator as well. Consider swapping out lighter curtains with thermal panels in the winter. You can use thicker curtains or affix flannel or fleece to the back of existing panels to block drafts and keep your home warm.
If you use thermal curtains, consider leaving them open during the day, especially on east and south-facing windows. While the air might be cold, the winter sun can pack some heat. Of course, the illusion is lost once you step outside.
Consider Landscaping Changes
If you own the property on which you live, there are some ways you can use landscaping to make your home more energy-efficient. Adding well-placed trees and shrubs can act as windbreaks and create a microclimate in your yard. Also, consider removing any trees that are blocking the winter sun from reaching your south-facing windows.
With these simple adjustments, you can keep your heating costs low throughout the Canadian winter, giving yourself more time to consider why we’ve all chosen to live in a place that’s cold for half of the year!