Our winters are long, dark and cold, and heating our homes is a necessity of life. But it doesn’t mean we can’t take a hard look at how much we’re paying to heat our homes and think about what we should be paying. Check for these warning signs and take action!
You’re Using Electricity for Heat
Electricity rates have been rising, and are slated to double by 2030 in order to pay for more infrastructure and to retire some of those polluting coal-fired power plants. The future of prices for natural gas doesn’t look as bad, however. If you’re using electricity for most of your heat, your monthly bills are going to be higher, at least in Ontario.
You Don’t Use a Programmable Thermostat
Most people will never remember to turn the heat down at night, when they go to work, and when they leave for a day of errands. Almost any thermostat that lets you pre-program a schedule will reduce your bill dramatically and will save enough on heat to pay for itself in a year. A wireless thermostat you can control from your phone is even more helpful.
You Keep the Temperature Cozy and Warm
If you’re not feeling the need for a sweater or a hot drink at home, you’ve got the temperature set too high. Get a blanket and snuggle up with your family. Winter is cuddling season if you want to save money.
You Use Exhaust Fans for More Than 15 Minutes
When you use the fans above your stove and in the bathroom, you’re throwing your heated air out of your home. Use exhaust systems as little as possible in winter. A powerful bathroom fan can clear the heat from a 1,500 square foot home in about 18 minutes (if it wasn’t being constantly resupplied by your furnace). With showers, you can skip the fan and take advantage of the steam to help prevent dry winter air in winter. Be careful though – if steam is collecting on the insides of your windows it’s too humid, and your home could be vulnerable to damage or mould.
Your Furnace is Over 15 Years Old
Technology has definitely improved in the last decade or so. Even around the year 2000, it was possible to get furnaces that operate at only 60% efficiency. That’s illegal now – the legal minimum efficiency is 80% for the kinds of gas furnaces most people would put in their home. You can easily find a furnace at over 90% efficiency.
So I Think I’m Paying Too Much. Now What?
You’ll have to crunch some numbers to see if renovations like adding insulation and replacing windows will pay off. Your window or insulation provider can help you with that. But if part of the problem is an older, inefficient furnace, Air Quality Dunrite can provide a free assessment and let you know how much you can save. Learn More About Our Furnace Packages