The days are getting chilly, and the nights even more so. Your home is a place of comfort and one of the biggest costs of comfort during these colder months is home heating.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2005 the average Canadian resident paid $142 per month for home heating. Add 10 years of inflation on top of that as well as taxes and you have some big numbers.
After experiencing the warmest winter ever recorded in Canada during 2009/10, the Farmers’ Almanac predicts winter will be making a comeback this year, and it’s always better to be prepared.
Tips on saving:
- Set your heat. With your heating on an automatic timer, you don’t have to remember to turn down the heat at night or when you leave for the day, yet you still wake up and come home to a comfortable temperature.
- Keep your heat at a minimum while away. There’s no sense in heating an empty home.
- Bundle up. There’s no need to be wandering around your house dressed like it’s the middle of June. Put your summer clothes away and get out the sweaters and wooly socks.
- Have your furnace serviced regularly for maximum efficiency. Convert to a high-efficiency furnace or other upgraded, energy efficient heating system if you are currently using an older, low-efficiency model.
- Close off rooms not in use and keep heat in those rooms shut off or vents closed.
- Replace old windows. Picture windows can draw a lot of heat from a home, especially if they are old. If you’re not in a place to replace them just yet, seal them with shrink film that you can purchase at most hardware stores to keep your heat in and drafts out.
- Use insulating curtains on windows.
- Keep your heaters clear. The heat has nowhere to go if the heaters are obstructed by furniture or clutter; not to mention the danger of items being in close proximity to hot surfaces. Place your furniture accordingly.
If you do plan on updating your heating system, or simply having your current system serviced, check out the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) for a contractor in your area.
Paul Baron is with Leading Edge Realty Inc. in Scarborough, ON