With the recent cold weather we’re experiencing, many residents are asking “How do I keep my heating costs down?” There are many things you can do to keep those bills at a manageable level.
Heating is the largest part of your energy costs. We spend 65 per cent* of our energy dollar on space heating and cooling. Operate your furnace and air conditioner at peak efficiency and you’ll use less energy and curb your energy bills.
*Source: NRCan Energy Use Data Handbook
Maintain Your Furnace
Combine an annual inspection with simple do-it-yourself tasks to keep your heating system working reliably and safely.
- Schedule an annual maintenance inspection by a qualified professional.
- The contractor should lubricate the pump, fan and motor bearings, check gas pressure on the furnace, inspect the fan belt, vent blowers, pilot and ignition system and gas pilot safety system, check all filters, mechanical and electrical connections, perform carbon monoxide tests and more.
- Most natural gas furnace providers offer annual maintenance programs, which take about an hour to perform.
- Change or clean your furnace filter every one to two months. A dirty air filter reduces the airflow and makes your furnace run longer.
- Make sure vents are clean and unobstructed by carpets or furniture.
Manage Your Thermostat
- Install and use programmable thermostat to automatically warm or cool your home only when needed.
- Keep the furnace fan on to help circulate air through your home.
Learn more about how to pick a location for your thermostat and how to program it to optimize savings.
How Much Can I Save?
Heating and cooling accounts for 65% of your energy costs. By installing and properly programming your programmable thermostat, you can save up to $100 a year in energy costs.
- In the winter, lower the temperature of your home by just 1°C over a seven-hour period and you can save 1 per cent on your heating bill.
- In the summer, raise the thermostat while you’re out and program the cooling to start just before you return home.
Prevent Air Leakage
- Caulking and weather stripping keeps your house comfortable and your energy bills under control. Inspect windows and doors for gaps that let cold air in and let heated air escape. Weather-stripping and caulking are inexpensive and easy do-it-yourself projects.
Other Ways To Save:
- If you have a fireplace, close the damper or install glass doors to prevent warm air escaping up the chimney.
- Seal the seams of heating ducts with aluminum foil tape to ensure more heated air reaches its destination.
- Turn off exhaust fans when not needed. The exhaust fan over your stove can pull a house-full of warm air out of your home in one hour. Choose an ENERGY STAR® exhaust fan and you’ll use 65% less energy.
- In winter, capture direct sunlight by opening your curtains during the day. In summer, close the curtains in the heat of the day to keep heat out.
Upgrade Your Equipment
Depending on the age and condition of your furnace, insulation and windows, you may want to consider replacing them. Investing in home improvements will help you save on heating and cooling costs.
To learn more about managing your heating costs and installing an energy efficient furnace, contact Comfort Plus ClimateCare at (519) 658-6441. We’re here to help!
Source: Union Gas (uniongas.com) and Show Me the Green (showmethegreen.ca)