11 Ways To Boost Energy Efficiency & Reduce Heating Costs in Canada This Winter

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Colder weather is here in Canada, and it’s not too late to make sure your home is properly winterized. Luckily, there are tons of things you can do to improve energy efficiency and reduce heating costs during the winter months.

In this article, we’ll explore some practical tips and home improvements that will help you stay cozy while saving on energy bills.

1. Improve Your Home’s Insulation

One of the best ways to improve energy efficiency in Canada is to make sure your home is properly insulated. Insulation works as a barrier against heat loss, keeping your home warmer in the winter months.

An easy way to know if your home’s insulation needs to be upgraded is to look for uneven temperatures in different rooms, feel for drafts around windows or doors, or touch the walls of your home for significant changes in temperature. Ice dams on the roof are another obvious sign of a poorly insulated home. 

2. Seal All Gaps & Leaks

Tiny gaps and leaks in your home can lead to significant heat loss throughout winter. Inspect windows, doors, and the foundation of your home for drafts. Seal any gaps with weatherstripping, caulk, or insulation. Pay special attention to windows and doors, as these tend to be common culprits for heat escape.

3. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Windows

Consider replacing old, single-pane windows with energy-efficient, double-pane windows. Look for the ENERGY STAR label, which signifies that the windows meet high energy efficiency standards. They are about 20% more energy-efficient than standard windows. Properly sealed and insulated windows can significantly reduce heat loss throughout winter. 

4. Winterize Your Existing Windows

Most older homes in Canada do not have energy-efficient windows and it can account for up to 25% of total house heat loss in winter. While upgrading all your windows is a costly project, winterizing your existing windows will set you back about $30. The easiest way to winterize your windows is to install insulation film tightly over each window. We recommend the 3M Window Insulator Kit.

5. Service Your Home’s Heating System

Whether it’s a furnace or a boiler, regular maintenance of your home’s heating system is essential to make sure it’s running at its peak performance. If you have an HVAC system in your home, air filters should also be replaced regularly to maintain optimal airflow and efficiency.

6. Invest in a Smart Thermostat

A programmable smart thermostat, such as the Ecobee, allows you to set lower temperatures when you’re away from home or asleep and raise them when needed. This simple device can lead to significant energy savings by reducing heating when it’s not required.

7. Seal & Insulate Ductwork 

If you have a forced-air heating system in your home, it’s important to inspect and seal any leaks in the ductwork. Leaks can easily be sealed using mastic sealant or duct sealing tape. You should also insulate ducts in unheated areas of your home, such as the attic, basement, or garahe, to prevent heat additional loss through duct walls.

8. Insulate Your Water Heater

Another thing you can do is wrap your water heater with an insulating blanket to reduce heat loss. We recommend the Frost King SP60

To take things even further, you can lower the water temperature of your heater to a comfortable yet energy-saving setting, such as 49°C. 

9. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances

When it’s time to replace appliances, always opt for energy-efficient models. Look for the ENERGY STAR label on products like refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers. These appliances consume less electricity and often come with electricity-saving features. 

10. Upgrade to LED Lighting

By simply replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights, you can save over $200 a year on electricity in your home (depending on the cost of electricity in your province). LED bulbs use significantly less energy than their incandescent counterparts. 

11. Practice Energy Conservation 

Lastly, a great way to reduce electricity costs in winter is to cultivate energy-conscious habits in your household. For example, encourage the members of your household to turn off the lights when they leave a room, unplug unnecessary electronic devices, and close doors quickly to maintain warmth. 

Another potentially energy-consuming habit that often gets overlooked is laundry: by washing your clothes in cold water and hang-drying them, you can save a ton of money throughout winter. 

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