Saskatchewan weather: not exactly paradise, not exactly eternal torment. We know this, and we’ve come to embrace it. The air hurts our faces in the winter, but we don’t have to contend with venomous critters or hurricanes. However, this winter has proven to be exceptionally odd. It wasn’t too long ago we were enjoying the picturesque scenery that Rime Ice brought upon the province, and now we can’t stay outside for too long until our skin freezes!
If you’re worried about your heating costs, step outside and chill because we’ve got some hacks to help!
Open the Curtains
Shut out the minus forty nights, but let in that daytime light! It’s not enough to heat your house entirely, but it keeps your main heater from running too often. If it’s not running as much, you won’t be paying as much!
Wisely Use Space Heaters
Many people supplement their home’s main furnace with multiple space heaters, thinking that it will save them money. What really happens? They pay for the cost of those high energy appliances running throughout the day. Instead, it’s a good idea to use a heater in one room that you use often, or use a heater in a small room. This way you have a cozy space to retreat to, work in, play in, etc. The rest of your house can be set to a cooler temperature (approximately 10 degrees cooler than your preferred living temperature) for ideal sleeping.
Shut Off Fans
Kitchen and bathroom fans are essential for removing odours and excess humidity, but be mindful of how long they run for. In winter, they’re ventilating your heat too. Get into the habit of using them only as needed, or use an automatic timer to shut them off if you’re the forgetful type.
The furnace might not be to blame if your house isn’t reaching the temperature you set it to. Make sure to properly insulate areas of your home that might be letting that heat escape. These include attic access doors, doorways, windows, chimneys, electrical outlets and plumbing entrances. Insulating foam sealant and weatherized silicone caulking could be your new best friends when it comes to stretching your dollar.
When the furnace hasn’t been running for a while and you notice your house getting considerably cooler, don’t crank that thermostat up! You cause your high efficiency furnace to run inefficiently. This leads to increased energy bills and increased stress on your unit. Gradually increase the temperature by a degree so that your system can run at its optimal rate. In the meantime, put on a sweater, do some jumping jacks or cuddle with a loved one.
Get Your Feng-Shui On
Rearranging the furniture can be more effective than you realize. Heat can better flow if furniture and appliances are more than a few inches away from registers. Your furnace won’t have to labour as hard if you have something trapping the heat in one room and not the others. Take care to direct air flow away from curtains and windows. You want that heat inside, not out.
Maintain Your Furnace
Change your furnace filters! Check your furnace filters! If they haven’t been already, seal and insulate your air ducts! Clean your air ducts of dust and debris! Winter is the time when we depend on heat the most. Make sure you take care of your home so it can take care of you.