How to save on home heating this winter : 8 ways

Heating and electricity prices have been on the rise and that causes homeowners and renters alike a lot of stress. 

It’s predicted there is going to be a sharp rise in the costs of gas and electricity, having to do with a combination of challenges, such as climate, supply at home and global demand. 

Inflation is what Canadians are concerned the most right now, right after health care. Electric heating will see the sharpest rise, hitting the most vulnerable segments of population. Even natural gas heating, which historically was the most affordable, is going to be affected. 

And while an average person has no control of the market rate of electricity or gas, there are ways to save on heating which we will discuss.

How to Save 

 

Heating is the most energy intense activity for homeowners, accounting for roughly 64% of the total energy usage. 

  1. Learn if it’s more affordable to use electricity or gas for your home heating needs. It’s very location dependent and would let you know if it’s better to use one or the other. Check out EnergyRates.ca to compare the costs
  2. Drafts and cracks can leave a huge dent in your heating. Fixing those can save you up to 20% on your energy bill. Your local provider or your city can have a program that helps cover the costs for insulation and draft proofing so make sure you inquire about that.
  3. Use lower temperature for your thermostat. Even if it’s just 1 degree lower in could result in significant savings down the road
  4. Insulate your windows along the edges. Also consider upgrading to double or even triple pane windows to stop heat loss in your house
  5. Use layers. Don’t turn the heat up, put another sweater and some warm socks, or maybe even use a blanket. 
  6. If you have hardwood floors, put some thick rugs on it, it would make your feet feel warmer and reduce the need to crank up the temperature. 
  7. If you have multiple energy providers in your area- be sure to shop around to see if you can lock in a better rate 
  8. Look for retrofit rebates. There are many grants and funding opportunities across Canada for homeowners planning energy-efficient home improvements. You can find federal grants and rebates on the NRCAN website, but some municipalities offer these as well.
  9. Use a smart thermostat, such as Nest. It allows you to automate the temperature regulation, decreasing your costs. It will lower the heat when you are away or asleep, saving you a considerable amount
  10. Change filters in your HVAC system- an old filter might decrease the efficiency of energy distribution. Have your HVAC system regularly serviced at least once a year.
  11. Buy a “Kill-A-Watt”. Plug the heater in, then you can calculate the cost to operate based on your electric rates.

 

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