Posted: November 26, 2013
Does the money in your bank account tend to shrink during the winter months? Holiday shopping and spending can be hard enough on our wallets, but why does Mother Nature have to make things so difficult too? Canadian winters bring an average temperature of -7 °C in Ontario, making the costly heating of our homes a necessary expense.
According to Gil Strachan from Electrospec Home Inspection Services, the average Canadian household generates an annual heating bill anywhere from $1000 to $5000 depending on the fuel source and location. This winter, I want to help all of you shrink these numbers and lessen your environmental footprint at the same time!
By adopting these energy-saving heating tips, you’ll put a little less strain on the environment this winter while putting a lot less strain on your wallet!
1) Keep window curtains open during the day to allow solar heat into your home. Close the curtains at night to trap some heat in. The thicker the curtains, the better!
2) Place temporary caulking along the inside of your windows to keep heat in and drafts out. You can peel this off in the Spring. Or, purchase plastic window covers at your local hardware store. Twenty-five percent of heat loss is through windows.
3) Turn your thermostat down! Bill Prindle, the deputy director for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has said, “The rule of thumb is that you can save about 3% on your heating bill for every degree that you set back your thermostat.” Let’s do a little math here. This means that if, on average, you spend $2000 each winter on heating your home, and turned your thermostat down just 2 degrees, you would save $120 each year! This money could be used to help out with my next tip…
4) Purchase a programmable thermostat. If you already have one, program it! It is likely that you are unnecessarily heating your home while you are away. No one wants to return home to an ice-box, so set the heat to begin returning to your desired temperature about a half hour before you expect to be home. You won’t even notice a difference by the time you get there (except on your utility bill of course)!
5) Have your furnace/boiler and ducts checked and cleaned regularly. If you have a leaky duct, this can cause distribution losses of up to 30%.
6) Dress accordingly! There is no need to crank the heat to keep warm while wearing your t-shirt and shorts! It’s harmful to the environment and costs you unnecessary money.
These easy to follow tips can save you hundreds of dollars each year, and of course, reduce your negative impact on the environment. By making small changes in your lifestyle, over the years you will greatly reduce your environmental footprint and find yourself with a much larger budget for your holiday spending!