The varying nature of Canadian temperatures can easily wreak havoc on our heating bill if we don’t take the necessary steps to optimize our energy consumption. Do you know how to save on heating? There are a lot of things you can do to reduce the cost of heating in your home. The following details 7 steps our experts suggest.
1- Have your home’s energy performance evaluated
This is the simplest, the least expensive and the most efficient option. Think of it as a doctor’s check-up for your house — the goal is to determine the source of the problem, so in this case, where and what is causing heat loss, and how to fix it. EnerGuide allow you to find energy evaluating services in your area, which will allow you to receive personalized advice on how to improve the energy efficiency of your home. In Quebec, for example, the fees for infrared heat loss tests are almost entirely reimbursed through the RénoClimat program.
2- Check the seals of your windows and doors
In our article “Preparing your Home for the Winter Months“, we mention that more that 25% of a home’s heat loss comes from windows. This step is therefore extremely important to follow — this gives a whole new meaning to throwing money out the window! Checking the seal on the window is a good place to start, however, the infrared heat loss test can also help show if you need to replace the window or door as well. There are a lot of problems that can indicate that your windows need replacing, so know the signs!
3- Check your insulation
Your home’s insulation is obviously a key factor in keeping your heating bill under control. A well-insulated house will keep cold air out, as well as keep the hot air in. Check out our article “How to Properly Insulate Your Home” to learn more about how to optimize your home’s insulation for even more cost savings!
4- Choose electronic thermostats
Replacing your old manual thermostats for electronic ones is a great way to reduce your annual heating costs — as much as 10%! This trick will help you a more precise and constant temperature and level of comfort throughout your home. A electronic thermostat allows for a specific temperature setting, with a variance of only about 0.5°C, whereas a manual one can vary from 2 to 5°C. Additionally, the electronic option can allow temperature settings from room to room to be set on a specific schedule.
To take it a step further, why not invest in a smart thermostat, like Google Nest or Ecobee? The benefits are undeniable, and some energy companies, like Énergir and Enbridge, offer discounts to their customers who upgrade to a smart thermostat.
Here are some of the advantages of a smart thermostat:
- Easy to use
- efficient way to regulate your energy use
- allows you to control your HVAC system from anywhere
- offers flexibility and comfort
5- Replace your fossil fuel heating system
If your home is equipped with an oil or propane central heating system and you wish to replace it with a more eco-friendly and energy efficient option, you can do so with the help of government programs. There are a lot of tax rebates and credits available to help encourage homeowners to go green, so taking advantage is not only good for the planet, but also for your wallet.
There are many different types of heating systems on the market, so making the right choice for your home is the best way to optimize your energy savings. For example, geothermal energy uses the energy produced by the earth, so it is a clean and renewable energy source. A geothermal system is a eco-friendly HVAC option, as well as being low maintenance and reducing your energy costs by up to 60%. Like in the case of electronic thermostats, there are various energy saving programs that offer credits to upgrade your system.
6- Replace or change your heating system’s filter
This small task is essential if you want to keep your heating system in good condition and avoid unpleasant surprises. A clogged filter could not only lead to uncomfortable, inconsistent temperatures in your home, but also increase your annual heating bill unnecessarily. So make a habit of checking a few times during the year, as it is very easy to do and not very expensive. Prevention is key!
7- Other easy tricks to try
- Keep the access door to the attic well closed and insulated
- Open the curtains and blinds during the day and close them at night
- Regularly clean the air intake and blower outlets of your forced air heating system
- Leave a clearance around heat sources (electric baseboards, wood stoves, etc)
- Close the fireplace door when not in use
- Limit the use of the kitchen and bathroom fan
- Reduce heating by 3°C overnight or when you are away
A Renovation Advisor can help you reduce your heating costs
Get personalized advice to help you find the best solution for your needs by talking to one of our Renovation Advisors. We will guide you and recommend up to three 360° Verified Contractors to provide quotes on your project if necessary. Call us or fill out our form to get started. Our service is free of charge and at no obligation to you!
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- Jonathan / Renovation Advisor at Reno-Assistance