Winter is here. One downside to this season—especially in Canada—is the need to heat our homes more. The colder the weather gets, the harder your furnace has to work. And, of course, the more our furnace works, the higher our heating bill gets.
But don’t fret. Here are 5 heater hacks to help you save money on your home heating costs:
1. Get a programmable thermostat
If you’re still using a mercury thermostat, replace it with a programmable one. This’ll be the foundation tool for your heater hacks. Some models are available for as little as $25, and you can find them in most hardware stores. The more expensive models allow you to control them from a computer or smart phone.
2. Lower the heat when you’re home
According to a CMHC survey, the average Canadian home is kept around 20º to 21º C in the winter. Research from the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology shows that lowering your thermostat temperature can result in heating cost savings of 5 to 15%. So, consider dropping your thermostat a degree or two, more if you’re higher than the average.
Now, this may mean you’ll end up with a home cooler than normal, which may take some getting used to. Consider investing in some warm slippers and a cozy sweater to help keep you warm.
3. Drop the heat at night
When you’re sleeping, there’s no need to have the home as warm as it is during the day. Lower it even more. The greatest cost savings come when the thermostat is lowered 6º, so if you normally keep it at 21º during the day, drop it to 15º at night. If you find that you’re too uncomfortable during the night, try wearing pyjamas to bed or using an extra quilt.
4. Set a schedule
The beauty of a programmable thermostat is that it allows you to set a schedule so your home heats when you’re there and doesn’t heat when you’re away. If everyone is at work or school during the day, then lower your thermostat to your overnight setting. Don’t forget to set it to kick back on early enough so your home has time to warm before you get home.
5. Turn it down when you’re away
Going away on vacation? Taking a day trip with family? Temporarily set your thermostat to stay at the same temperature the entire time you’re gone. There’s no point using your regular schedule if no one is home.
Following these 5 heater hacks will help you save money on your home heating costs. And that money could be spent other things. Like a present for your favourite mortgage brokers.