More expensive energy bills are pretty common as the winter settles in across Guelph, but they are not necessarily inevitable. There are lots of things a homeowner like you can do to lower the money spent to keep the cold out for the next few months.
We’ve assembled 5 easy fixes you can consider for better comfort at home and lower ongoing heating expenses through the winter:
1. Keep moisture in the air
Balanced humidity levels in your home can actually make your family feel warmer, even if the air temperature is the same in a dryer home.
Most homeowners find when they invest in a humidifier, either for the rooms they spend the most time in or a whole home system, they are able to set the thermostat lower than they’re used to.
With humidifiers, price really is a good indicator of quality. A small, affordable, single-room humidifier in the $20 range will do the job, but it will probably be noisy and require more maintenance to stay running than a $50 unit. Likewise with a full home system..
2. Automate your thermostat
You can probably live comfortably with a lot less heat than you’re used to. A programmable thermostat can help automate your heating and set the indoor environment in line with your lifestyle. During the hours everyone is out of the house, or everyone is in bed, your thermostat can be programmed to lower the heat by 5 or more degrees.
Add an extra blanket to your beds and see if you can drop the thermostat by 10 degrees over night. You certainly have the blankets laying around, so why not use them. The thermostat can crank up the temperature an hour before you have to get up and thereby avoid shivering your way to the shower.
3. Stay on track with HVAC maintenance
A system that hasn’t been maintained properly can struggle keeping up with demand due to a clogged filter or a more complicated issue. Regular maintenance will easily catch these problems, but you won’t necessarily notice yourself. Performance might suffer a bit more every day, but you’ll just turn up the thermostat every few days to compensate. It’s like transitioning from spring to summer. What day exactly did it become hot enough for you to call it summer last year? You probably didn’t notice as it heated up each day.
Regular annual maintenance – will help you save money in the long run (and also help you delay the need to replace your furnace or other heating system).
4. Heat the water you need
A standard water heater keeps water warm all the time, whether you’re at work, asleep, watching a movie, cooking dinner. If you need to have a shower at 2pm, the hot water needs to be ready. Every time the tank has to re-heat unused hot water, you’re wasting money.
Switching to a tankless water heater means you only heat water as you require it. You pay for the exact amount of heated water you need at any moment. You can even finance the purchase and pay it off over time with the money you save.
5. Heat the spaces you use
If you spend most of your time in the same areas of your home, you might want to consider space heating those areas with a gas fireplace or stove. These are more efficient at heating small areas than a furnace, and take little time to bring a room back up to a comfortable temperature after a period of time when they have been left off.
You can also block off the vents and close the doors of any rooms you rarely use (kids away at university? Put their rooms in hibernation!)
We can help you save money over the long term. Get in touch with a member of our team today to talk about your options.