10 winter heating tips to save energy

Updated on March 22, 2024

4-minute read

10 winter heating tips to save energy

Updated on March 22, 2024

4-minute read

We depend on our heating systems in Alberta, and home heating accounts for a considerable part of our energy bill. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to improve your home’s thermal performance, efficiency and lower energy use.

Here are some winter heating tips that can help you save energy this winter:

Man applying window stripping for winter
Man applying window stripping for winter
Man applying window stripping for winter

1. Let the sunshine in!

It might be cold, but we do get a lot of sun in Alberta during the winter! Open the window coverings on sunny days and let the sunshine in. It may heat the room a little, and you'll enjoy all the benefits of much-needed vitamin D. When the sun isn’t shining in the window anymore, close those window coverings to keep in the heat.

2. Seal your windows.

Did you know that up to 25% of energy loss in your home goes out the window? New ENERGY STAR®-certified windows are 20% more efficient than the average window. But, if a window replacement isn’t in the cards, ensure your current windows are well-sealed. Check and replace caulking and weatherstripping around the windows, and keep those cold drafts out!

3. Check the doors.

Doors are also culprits for energy loss, so it’s essential to ensure they’re winterized. Check the door frames and look for gaps between the bottom of the door and the floor. Installing new weatherstripping on your storm and entry doors makes a big difference in heat loss.

4. Reverse your ceiling fan.

Running a fan in the house can help circulate the air and make things feel more comfortable year-round. In the winter, reverse your fan direction to rotate clockwise. This creates an updraft, so the warm air on the ceiling gets pushed down through the room.

5. Seal the chimney.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, check the flue! If the flue and chimney cap doesn’t seal tight when the fireplace is not in use, it can bring down a cold draft. Plus, it creates the perfect escape for all your heated air. Each year, have the chimney inspected and ensure no cracks or leaks.

6. Only use exhaust fans when needed.

It’s essential to run the exhaust fan in the bathroom when showering or bathing or in the kitchen when cooking. You want to bring that humid air out of the house. However, avoid using those fans when they’re not needed. If you do, you could be venting out your nice warm air.

7. Turn down the thermostat.

Running the thermostat at a slightly lower temperature can reduce energy use and monthly bills. If you feel uncomfortable with a lower temperature, consider turning it down at night when sleeping or heading out for the day. If you turn your thermostat down by about 5 to 8 degrees Celsius for eight hours daily, you could save approximately 10 percent on your heating costs for the year. That is significant!

8. Program your thermostat.

A programmable or smart thermostat can make sure you never forget to turn down the heat when you leave the house or go to bed. You can set it and forget it, and it will adjust the temperature in your home during certain times of the day. Programming the thermostat or relying on a smart thermostat can bring down your energy costs.

9. Have your furnace serviced annually.

Investing in regular furnace maintenance will ensure it’s running safely and efficiently and help prevent breakdowns. Call a reliable HVAC company for an annual furnace inspection and tune-up. In addition, make sure you replace the furnace air filter every three months or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This simple DIY maintenance task will reduce strain and improve the efficiency and lifespan of your furnace.

10. Direct the heat to the rooms you use.

If there are rooms in your house you rarely use, like a spare room, keep those doors and vents closed. That way, you won’t pay to heat a room you’re not in. When someone is going to use that room, open the doors and vents again, and it should warm up quickly.

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