Winter Heating Tips
Most Canadians would never dream of leaving the windows wide open on a cold winter's day. But without knowing it, many of us are leaving the equivalent of a window open all winter long by allowing heated air to escape through hidden leaks in our home.
The average Canadian house loses up to $500 worth of heated air every winter. Most of this hot air is not lost through obvious openings, but through hundreds of small cracks, and leaks throughout your house. In some older houses, all those tiny leaks can add up to 21 inches in diametre.
Simple steps to keep the heat in this winter:
- Get a can of expansion foam, and using a smoking incense stick check for holes around any pipe or wire, especially in the basement. Check plumbing vents, outdoor pipes, gaps where electrical wiring enters the house, openings around exhaust fans and gaps at the top of exterior walls.
- Caulk the attic hatch. Imagine this as an invisible chimney in your house, sucking up heated air. Depending on individual situations, caulking your hatch can reduce your heat loss by 5%. Keeps hot, moist air from collecting in the attic and contributing to ice damming too.
- Put heat-sensitive plastic film on drafty windows. Extend the border to outside the window frame to block draft from under the frame.
- Caulk and weather-strip your doors and windows.
- If you have a furnace, install a programmable thermostat and set it to drop by 4 degrees C when you are out or asleep. Such a drop could reduce your bill by 15% over leaving the temperature the same – that will easily pay the cost of the new thermostat. For more information check out the PeakSaver Program.
- If you have a furnace, especially oil, and have not had it cleaned in a few years, make an appointment right away. Again, depending on individual situations, a dirty burner can be costing you an extra 10%.