12 Top Home Heating Tips to Start Saving Money Now

Improving the energy efficiency of your home is a great way to reduce the cost of heating over the fall and winter months. By taking the right steps, you could save hundreds of dollars a year on your energy bill. Here are 12 heating and insulation tips to get you started.

Tip #1: Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat

programmable thermostat can help ensure that no heating energy goes to waste in your home, as it allows you to set different temperatures for different times of day. For example, you might set it to automatically lower the temperature during the day when everyone is out of the house and raise the temperature in the evening when people are home. 

If you are already going to make an upgrade, you should also consider a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats can reduce your heating costs even more by giving you the ability to track your energy usage and control the temperature remotely. 

Tip #2: Improve Your Attic Insulation

Since heat rises, it has the propensity to escape out of the roof of a home. Adding more insulation to your attic will keep more of the heat inside, where you want it, greatly reducing your heating costs (as well as your summer air conditioning costs).  

If you live in a colder area, you should look for insulation with an R-value of R40 or more. The R-value is a measure of a material’s ability to resist heat transfer. 

Tip #3: Install Ceiling Fans to Move the Heat

As mentioned above, heat rises. The best way to push it back to where it is needed the most is by using ceiling fans. During the winter, setting your ceiling fans to turn clockwise will encourage warm air to move downward. In the summer, reverse the fan direction to help cool your home.

Tip #4: Caulk Drafty Windows and Doors

Drafts around windows and doors are a major source of air exchange with the outside. If you are losing a lot of heating energy to drafts, then your heating system will need to work much harder to keep you warm and comfortable. Use an acrylic caulking product to seal up any gaps. 

Tip #5: Install Insulating Window Film

Another way to improve the energy efficiency of your windows is to cover them with insulating window film. It is inexpensive and easy to apply, and can even significantly improve the R-value of double-paned windows. 

Tip #6: Seal Your Air Ducts to Keep the Heat

Heat can escape through the joints and any cracks in your air ducts as it is delivered to different areas of your home. Make sure all of the heating energy gets where you want it to go by sealing up joints and cracks with metallic duct tape

Tip #7: Install a Water Heater Insulation Blanket

While hot water heaters already feature an insulated design, it is still possible for heat to escape from certain parts of the tank. An insulation blanket is an easy and inexpensive way to keep the tank warmer, allowing it to work more efficiently, consume less energy, and save you money. 

You can also add pipe insulation to the pipes leading from the tank to prevent further heat loss. 

Tip #8: Regularly Replace Your Furnace Filters

Furnace filters keep dust particles and other contaminants from making their way inside your furnace. To do their job properly, furnace filters must regularly be changed (if you use disposable filters) or cleaned (if you use reusable filters). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the frequency for changing or cleaning filters.  

Tip #9: Seal Drafty Electrical Outlets

Many older homes do not have barriers to prevent drafts from coming in through outlets on exterior-facing walls. Keep the cold air out by installing vapour barriers on the electrical boxes and socket covers over the outlets. 

Tip #10: Regularly Dust Your Baseboard Heaters

Clearing your baseboard heaters of dust and debris will allow them to work more efficiently and circulate warm air more effectively throughout your home. All it takes is a few minutes of work with a quality duster

Tip #11: Plant Trees Strategically to Block the Cold Wind

Your landscaping can make a difference in the energy efficiency of your home as well. During the winter, properly positioned trees and shrubs will act as a barrier against the wind. In the summer, they can also keep your home shaded and cool. 

Tip #12: Take Advantage of Energy Efficiency Grants and Rebates

The Transition énergétique Québec program offers a number of financial incentives for making energy-efficiency improvements to your home. In fact, homeowners can apply for up to $3,000 in assistance for different construction and renovation projects.  

Take a look at the Reno-Depot grant and rebate summary to see which programs you can apply for. 

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