Saving on energy for your home in the winter

11 ways to save on heating costs

11 Ways to Save on Heating Costs this Winter

Winter is coming so our Huronia Insurance Group team suggests the following 11 ways to save on heating costs and conserve energy. No matter how bad it gets this winter, you don’t need to break the bank to keep your home warm.

#1 Weatherproof Windows, Doors & Skylights

Heat is easily lost through windows and patio doors. Stopping window heat loss is one of the best ways to save on heating costs. Window heat loss will make your furnace work much harder than it needs to. Be sure to check the perimeter of all your windows and doors for any cracks or holes. Any damage can be easily fixed with some fresh caulking. A thin layer of plastic film insulation on the inside of older windows can also help keep heat in and keep your house warmer. It not only helps to reduce heat loss but also limits condensation on the windowpanes. Although plastic insulation is helpful with older windows the best solution is to install new Energy Star® Certified windows and doors.

#2 Replace Worn Door Weather Stripping

Worn weather stripping is another guilty culprit for heat loss. Before the winter months, carefully check and replace door weather stripping as necessary. An easy way to check if your weather stripping is still well sealed is to run a wet hand along the casing of your windows and doors. The moisture on your hands will help you to easily detect any drafts around the perimeter. Hint: Don’t forget to check the weather stripping around doggie doors also. 🐶

#3 Check Home Insulation

We mentioned that stopping window heat loss is one of the most cost-efficient ways to save on heating costs. Well insulated walls, ceilings, and attics can do a lot to help keep heat inside your home, especially on very cold days. Traditionally, fiberglass insulation is used in homes. However, if you are looking for a greener way to reinsulate, add insulation, or remodel, there are various green insulation alternatives to consider. Green insulation includes sheep wool, cotton and denim, aerogel, ThermaCork, or cellulose.

#4 Service Your Furnace

Servicing your furnace is another one of those very cost-efficient ways to save on heating costs. Your furnace is working its hardest in the winter months, so it is advisable to ensure that it is working in peak condition. Before the winter begins, check your furnace manual to see if it requires maintenance from a professional. You will also want to check to see if your furnace filter needs to be replaced. Typically, furnace filters should be replaced (or cleaned) every 90 days to keep your furnace working at its optimum.

#5 Clean Vents, Ducts & Radiators

Not unlike your furnace filter, home vents and radiators require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them working optimally. Clear out anything that will obstruct the air to flow. This will also keep dust, debris, and allergens out of your home’s circulating air! Air vents can be easily cleaned using your household vacuum, although if you would like your ducts cleaned properly you should hire a professional. Vent grills can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth and soapy water. Radiators can also be vacuumed before dusting and being wiped down with a damp cloth and soapy water.

#6 Use a Programmable Thermostat

Another one of those very cost-efficient ways to save on heating costs is to use a programmable thermostat. You wouldn’t leave all the lights on in your home when you go out or go to bed. This same principle can be applied to heating your home. Keeping the heat on full blast when no one is home or while you are sleeping is not only a waste of money but a waste of energy. You can program your thermostat to lower the temperature slightly when no one is home or while you are asleep. You can also program it to increase the temperature before you return home or wake up. Be sure that you do not decrease the temperature so much that your furnace has to work extra hard to warm up your home again. Direct Energy recommends setting the temperature to 20-22°C when you are home in the daytime, and 17-19°C when you are asleep at night, or if everyone is away in the daytime. If possible, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat system. This system allows you to control the temperature remotely from your phone and can save you money in the long run.

#7 Get Cozy and Layer Clothing

Few people realize that layering clothing is an excellent way to save on heating costs. There is nothing better on a cold winter’s night than curling up under a warm blanket next to a fire with a cup of hot chocolate. Embrace the cozy-factor! You can layer clothing and rely on blankets and socks to help keep your body temperature up while keeping your home heating costs down. Rugs are another great way to add some warmth to your home and your feet. Instead of turning up the heat, have you considered double socking or wearing slippers to help keep your feet warm on colder days? Personally, our favourite way to get cozy is to pull out the flannel sheets.

#8 Close Doors to Unused Rooms

There are other ways to save on heating costs that few people think about…like closing doors to unused rooms. These rooms don’t need to be heated and may include offices, guest rooms, and additional bathrooms when not in use. Simply close the door and vents in these rooms to help reduce your heating costs.

#9 Close Fireplace Damper

If you have a wood-burning fireplace this is one of the best ways to save on heating costs. A fireplace can add so much warmth to your home in the winter. That said, you must also close the fireplace damper when it is not in use. An open damper can create a significant draft in your home and cause your furnace to work harder than it needs to.

#10 Embrace the Sunshine

Luckily even on cold days, most Canadians can count on the sun shining. You can take advantage of the sunshine by opening curtains and allowing solar energy to provide some natural heat. At night, closing insulated curtains and blinds will help keep heat in and protect against winter winds.

#11 Change Ceiling Fan Direction

Did you know that your ceiling fan is another one of those cool ways to save on heating costs? Ceiling fans are often forgotten once the cold weather rolls in. However, they can be as helpful in the winter months as they are in the summer months. As your home is being heated, warm air rises towards the ceiling. You may feel the room is cold even though up at the ceiling it is quite warm. By reversing your ceiling fans, you can help to better circulate the warmer air so that the entire room feels warmer. Hint: Don’t forget to reverse the fan direction again before the summer strikes!

Summary

There are other ways to save on heating costs as well. Some homeowners reduce their water tank temperature. Others have switched to a geothermal heating and cooling system. Winter doesn’t have to be damaging to your wallet. These few simple tips and tricks can make all of the difference.

About Huronia Insurance Group

While these tips offer some great ways to save on heating costs this winter, there are other areas where you can also save. Contact one of our home insurance brokers and let us help you save on home insurance today!

Huronia Insurance Group has been offering a full range of home insurance services for over two and a half decades including rented dwelling, seasonal dwelling and condo insurance. We are based in Barrie and serve clients across all of Ontario, including the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

If you need help with insurance, please call us toll-free at 1-866-955-8386 or request an insurance quote online.