What if we told you we could get you excited about opening up your heating bills each month?
You probably wouldn’t believe us.
But when you use these home tips to save money on your heating bill this winter, that’s exactly what will happen!
1. Lower the Temperature on Your Thermostat
By lowering the temperature on your thermostat by even 1 degree for an 8-hour period per day, you can save as much as 2% on your heating costs.
Remember: This doesn’t mean you should lower the temperature so much that you’re miserable in your own home. It’s all about finding a balance between saving and staying happy. Also, be aware that if the setting is too low, some plumbing near the outside of your home may be at risk of freezing during a cold snap.
How Low Can You Go?
A lot of people wonder: how low can you set your furnace at night or while you’re away before you stop saving because your furnace has to work so hard to heat back up?
It’s true that your furnace will run longer when it comes out of a setback setting to your regular temperature, but the amount of energy used during that time costs less than the savings you generated by turning the heat down.
What will cause you to stop saving is micro-managing your furnace temperature settings.
Micro-managing your thermostat means your furnace is turning on and off much more frequently, which is hard on all the moving parts. Your furnace should be running for longer, steadier intervals based on a schedule.
2. Use a Programmable Thermostat
Speaking of regular schedules – a programmable thermostat makes it incredibly easy for you to maximize your savings and optimize your comfort at the same time.
Programmable and smart thermostats enable to you to create schedules. Your thermostat will automatically adjust the heat based on your schedule.
For example, say you want the temperature to be 18°C when you’re at work, but 21°C when you’re at home. You can program your thermostat to start warming up the house to 21°C right before you’re due back from work, and walk into an already-warm home.
3. Change Your Furnace Filters
This is an absolute must for winter. A clogged filter will restrict air flow and won’t protect your furnace from all the dust circulating in the air.
If your furnace breaks down, that’s a chunk of change you weren’t expecting to pay – plus you’ll be without a furnace during the coldest season of the year.
Changing your filter every 3 months is an inexpensive, easy way to take care of your furnace.
4. Get a Furnace Tune Up
A tuned up furnace is an efficient furnace. Not only will a furnace tune up increase the efficiency of your home heating system, but it will also increase the lifespan of your furnace and help prevent surprise breakdowns.
5. Add a Humidifier to Your Home Heating System
Dry air doesn’t hold heat that well – and unfortunately winter + furnace = dry air. But when you add a whole-house humidifier to your heating system, you’ll have better indoor air and a smaller monthly heating bill.
6. Improve Your Home’s Insulation
Adding more insulation is a good idea if your house has a hard time retaining heat. The best way to determine if you need more insulation is to have a professional come in and perform an energy audit.
An energy audit will identify areas of your home that could become more efficient with the right improvements – for example, a high-quality insulation.
Ottawa has several certified energy auditors that can help you identify new opportunities for winter savings.
7. Seal Up Any Leaks in Your House
A draft lets cold air in – and that certainly doesn’t help your furnace do its job.
When you winterize your house, check for any leaks or drafts that could impact your home’s temperature. Use weather stripping, caulking or another sealing product to make your house draft-proof.
8. Using Fans to Circulate Air Around Your House
If you have ceiling fans that are reversible, you can use them to help circulate that lovely warm air around your house.
9. Minimize the Use of Bathroom and Kitchen Fans
While bathroom and kitchen fans are great for dissipating unwanted smells, they also take a lot of warm air with them.
We’re not saying you have to stop using them altogether – just don’t leave them running for extended periods of time if you don’t need them.
10. Make Sure All Your Vents Are Free of Obstructions
Sometimes air vents are unintentionally blocked by objects in our home, which restricts airflow. You’re paying to heat the back of a couch or the underside of a table, and wondering why your toes are still little ice cubes.
Do a walk-through of your home and look for any vents that may be blocked. While you may have to make some changes in your furniture layout, you’ll be much more satisfied knowing your air has a clear path to the rest of your home.
11. Incorporate Cozy into Your Dress and Decor
Layering is a thing for a reason. By adding some more long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, and warm socks to your daily dress, you’ll actually be able to feel a lot warmer without having to turn the heat up high.
You can do that same around your house. Fuzzy rugs, thick blankets, and cozy flannel sheets will keep you warm and happy. The only problem then is that you won’t ever want to leave your house.
12. Open Your Curtains on Sunny Days
How does that old song go? Let the sunshine in!
On days when it isn’t snowing or cloudy enough to make you think it’s going to snow, open up your curtains and blinds on south-facing windows to take advantage of a little free heat from the sun.
You’ll love the toasty feeling of sitting in sun rays, and having the natural light will give you break from a famously dark time of year. Just remember to close them at night and when you’re not at home.
This article originally appeared on OttawaHomeServices