Heat Your Home without Burning a Hole in Your Pocket

Each year when temperatures start to drop, we start thinking about a “fall and winter to-do list.” This typically includes tasks like checking your furnace, installing your winter tires, prepping your shovels, and purchasing new boots. However, one thing homeowners often don’t realize is that the arrival of winter is not the time to complete these chores. Instead, fall when you should start preparing your home’s heating system to avoid issues in the fall and winter.

Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas for Direct Energy, shares the following tips for getting your heating system ready for winter so that you can better control and monitor your energy usage:

• Prepare ahead of time: Schedule a furnace maintenance appointment to get your equipment inspected before the snow arrives.

• Replace your filters: Clogged filters mean your furnace motor has to work harder, which eats up more energy. Filters should be washed or replaced every three months.

• Out with the old, in with the new: Consider upgrading your old furnace to a new energy efficient unit. High efficiency = high savings.  An older conventional burning furnace operates at 60 percent efficiency. What does that mean? 40 cents of every dollar you spend on heating your home is going right up the chimney.  A new high-efficiency furnace operates at over 90 percent efficiency, which means you’re wasting less than 10 cents on every dollar you spend heating your home.

• Get more insulation: Improving your home’s insulation is one of the fastest and most cost effective ways to cut down on your heating costs.  You should have approximately 12 inches of insulation in your attic – anything less than this means you should get it topped up as soon as possible.

• Keep an eye on your energy bills: It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on energy usage to ensure you’re able to manage your heating costs. Household heating costs makes up a significant part of our winter expenses in Canada, so it’s important to be aware of your usage.

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To get answers for all your home maintenance questions, visit Dave’s Corner.