Keep winter heating costs down with these 5 tips.
Summer is coming to an end. It may not be officially Fall as that is not until September 22nd, but when Labour Day has come and gone it is time to get ready for Fall. While people are putting away their summer clothing and taking out their fall clothing, you should think about getting your home ready for the cooler weather too other than getting out those blankets and throws for the couch.
Tip # 1: Cover drafty windows
Tape clear plastic film (like this one) to the inside of your window frames during the winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame that will help improve energy efficiency. Also, you can install insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
Tip #2: Adjust your home’s temperature
When there are people at home, set your thermostat as low as it is comfortable. Wear a sweater or cardigan and socks if you are cool.
When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat down 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat makes it easy to change temperatures. Set it and forget it.
Tip #3: Maintain your heating systems
Schedule an annual service/inspection of your heating system before the start of fall. An inspection will check to make sure your boiler or furnace is operating efficiently and will last through the winter.
Remember to change your furnace filter as needed as a plugged filter will reduce the amount of warm air flowing throughout your home.
Tip #4: Reduce heat loss from the fireplace
Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Leaving the damper open is like having a window wide open during the winter; allowing warm air to go right up and out the chimney.
When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly–approximately 1 inch–and close doors leading into the room.
If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue to reduce the loss of heat.
If you use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warm air back into the room.
Add caulking around the fireplace hearth to reduce heat loss slipping through the cracks.
Tip #5: Lower water heating costs
Water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home. Think about all the hot water you use to wash dishes, clothes, showering, cleaning etc.
If you know and are comfortable touching your hot water tank, turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (49°C). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands.