There are lots of reasons to look forward to winter in Calgary. Holidays, the changing colours of the leaves, hot chocolate and walks in the snowy woods are just a few of the enjoyable parts of the colder weather. But, you’re not likely to be looking forward to seeing your heating bill go up as the temperature goes down. Discover several tips you can use to save money on your heating bill even as the temperatures dip to their lowest of the season.
1. Programmable Thermostats
Energy efficient features and materials come standard in new homes. For example, new homes often come with programmable thermostats allowing you to adjust the temperature at different times to save energy. For instance, while you’re at home, you may have your thermostat set at 20 degrees. But, you can set it to adjust to a lower temperature while you’re at work.
You can set your thermostat to move to a lower temperature while you’re asleep or even while you’re out of town. This technology gives you more control over the operation of your home’s furnace.
2. Check the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan
If you have one or more ceiling fans, they can help your furnace heat your home with more efficiency. Make sure the paddles of your fan are travelling in a clockwise direction during the cold weather months. The updraft created by your fan will force the warm air near the ceiling back down into your main living space.
3. Choose the Right Curtains for Your Windows
If you live in an older home, a pair of curtains made of heavy fabric such as velvet or fleece can keep drafts from entering your home via your windows in the wintertime. Unfortunately, these drafts can cause your furnace to click on and your heating bill to go up.
Be sure to open these curtains in the afternoon so you can benefit from the sunlight pouring into the room. You may even buy a second pair of lighter curtains to put on the rod. So, you can slide back the heavy curtains and keep the lighter ones closed in the afternoons.
4. Change the Filter in Your Furnace
This is another easy tip that can save a lot on your utility bill. Buy a supply of filters for your furnace so you have them on hand when you need them. Check the furnace regularly and change your filter when needed. Generally, a new filter is needed in a furnace about every three months to keep the system working with efficiency.
5. Dress in Warmer Clothing
If you've ever complained about being too cold at home when you were younger, you've probably heard your parents tell you to put on a sweater to save on their heating bill. Now that you have your own home, you may be more keen to dress in layers to help you avoid unnecessary use of the furnace. Don’t forget your wool socks!
6. Get Your HVAC System Checked Each Year
Sometimes just a few adjustments in your HVAC system can help your furnace to operate more efficiently. An HVAC technician will come in and check the connections, the fan and other parts of the system to see if they are in good condition. This is one way to prepare your furnace to serve you in the best possible way this winter.
7. Check the Fireplace
Here again in an older home, when you light a fire in your fireplace you open the damper to allow the smoke to flow up the chimney. It’s easy to forget to close the damper after putting out the fire and going to bed for the night. So, take a minute to make sure your fireplace damper is closed so the warm air in your home is not escaping through your chimney.
8. Change to Winter Bedding
Chances are, you have lightweight cotton blankets on your bed during the summer. Once the cold weather arrives, put a new set of blankets on your bed. A quilt, a heavy comforter and multiple blankets can all help you feel warmer at night and less inclined to turn up the temperature on the thermostat.
9. Turn Down the Water Heater Temperature
Check the temperature on your water heater and turn it down to around 60 degrees if necessary. This will help you save money as well as reducing the risk of scalding. This is particularly helpful if you are living with children or elderly people.
10. Cook a Delicious Meal
This tip doubles your benefits in the wintertime. One, cooking a delicious meal means the heat from your oven will travel around the kitchen and your home providing you with extra comfort. Secondly, you get to enjoy a casserole, steak, baked potatoes or another hot, tasty meal while it’s freezing outside your window.
11. Check Your Furniture Arrangement
Warm air flows through vents into the main living area of your home. If there's a bed, sofa or bookcase blocking a vent, it stops the warm air from flowing freely. It’s a good idea to locate your vents to see if they are unblocked and able to deliver warm air without an issue.
12. Close Off Rooms You Aren’t Using
If you have a bonus room or bedroom you aren’t using, close the vents in the room as well as the door. You aren’t using the room, so why do you want to heat it?
Make sure you take advantage of these valuable tips and keep your heating bills under control until spring returns!