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Winter is coming: top tips to heat your home for less

Don’t let the winter blues get you down this year. Keep your spirits high, your bills low and your home warm this season with these toasty tips.

It’s finally happened: summer is over. The temperature has dropped to the point where we can’t hold onto the dream any longer: winter is coming. We often talk about how expensive it is to run an air conditioner in the summer, but you might be surprised to know that about 61% of the energy used in the average Canadian home goes to heating. Luckily, there are ways to save money by keeping the heat where it belongs: in your home!

Eliminate drafts and plug holes

Check for extra space around your windows and doors that could be letting in cold air. If you’re not sure, try placing your hand a few centimeters away from the edges and see if you can feel a draft. If so, apply weather-stripping or sealant to fill any cracks.

Replace your windows

Does it feel like your windows are wide open, even when they’re closed? Is there any mold on your window frame? This problem probably needs more than just sealant; it’s likely time to replace your windows. Replacing all of your windows with ENERGY STAR® certified models could save you up to 45% (!) on your energy bill.

Change or clean your furnace filter

If you can't remember the last time you did that, you're probably overdue for a fresh filter. A clean filter improves air-flow and helps ensure warm air can actually make it out of the vents and into your home. Your owner's manual will tell you how often to change the filter for your specific model, but if it has been more than three months, it's time to do it.

Add more insulation

Too little insulation, especially in your attic or basement, can really affect the warmth of your home, letting hot air escape outside or making it feel colder near the walls. Adding insulation to key places, or even upgrading the insulation in your whole home, can make a big difference.  

Adjust your thermostat

Lowering the temperature of your home two to three degrees Celsius is optimal for saving energy and keeping your home comfortable. A good guide is to program 17°C when you are sleeping or not at home, and 20°C when you are awake and at home. Keep it simple and install an ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat so you can set it and forget it.

Use your ceiling fan more effectively

Change the rotational direction of your ceiling fan so it spins clockwise. This will pull up more cold air, forcing it to mix with hot air near the ceiling. The resulting warm air will get pushed down and make the room feel warmer. If you don’t have one, or need a replacement, make sure to purchase an ENERGY STAR certified model to increase your energy savings.

Move your furniture

Is your couch blocking a baseboard heater? Is your area rug covering a heat register or air duct? Take a look around your home to make sure all heat sources have space around them to let air flow freely, this will also allow your furnace to work more efficiently.

Make your curtains work for you

Window coverings can reduce energy loss through your windows, lower heating and cooling bills and improve your home’s comfort. Remember to open your curtains or blinds in the morning to let in natural heat and sunlight. Be sure to close them in the evening to keep heat from escaping back out through the windows.

Learn more and connect with us

Need more tips to keep the heat in? We’ve got you covered! Looking for more tips on energy efficiency? Follow ENERGY STAR Canada on TwitterFacebookPinterest and LinkedIn to maximize your energy savings and get the latest on energy-efficient products.

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