How to Heat Your Home Smartly

honeywell_thermostatUtility bills can dramatically increase during the winter months. In fact, between increased heating and other winter energy habits (such as using more lighting for longer hours), the average winter electricity bill can be 66% higher than other months. Space heating, one of the major factors, can account for 40% – 50% of winter electricity bills.

Here are some of our favourite tips to heat your home smartly.

Turn the heat down, and watch the thermostat

Winter heating costs can go up by as much as 140% compared to the rest of the year. One of the most effective things you can do to control your heating costs is to manage your thermostat effectively:

  • Setting your thermostat at the right temperature is important. Heating costs rise about five per cent for every degree above 20°C (68°F) that you set your thermostat. Lower your thermostat by one or two degrees and wear a sweater if you need to.
  • In the market for a new programmable thermostat? Programmable thermostats works automatically: you set it once—for example, to turn down to 16ºC every evening at 10 pm and turn back up to 21ºC at 6:30 in the morning—and it will continue to adjust the room temperature for you automatically. Programmable thermostats are also more precise than manual thermostats, and do a better job of keeping room temperature constant. By avoiding ups and downs in temperature, you will be more comfortable and you’ll save energy.

Draft proof to keep the heat in and the cold out

A drafty home is an inefficiently heated home. If your home is losing warm air to the outside and letting cold air in, you’re wasting heat. By sealing gaps and cracks, you can reduce heat loss by up to 10%.

An easy way to check for leaks around your home is to wait for a cold, windy day, then light two or three incense sticks and hold them together in one hand. Walk around your home with the incense sticks, bringing them close to all:

  • outside windows and doors
  • electrical outlets on outside walls
  • floor drains
  • corners where two outside walls meet and where the walls meet the ceiling and the
  • baseboards on the floor
  • doors and hatches into unheated spaces, including basements and attics, storerooms and crawlspaces
  • around plumbing pipes and ductwork entering your home from unheated spaces, and
  • behind bathtubs and under sinks mounted on exteriors walls or over unheated spaces.

Large air leaks will cause the tip of the incense sticks to glow and the smoke to dissipate. Smaller air leaks will cause the smoke either to blow away from or move toward the leak

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