How to save money on your high heating bills
Winter is not far off and if you want to save money on your heating bills it's time to take action.
There has been plenty of concern this year about rising energy costs. Natural gas and oil prices heading up. Expect to see some higher bills but you can mitigate that.
Your HVAC system uses the most energy in your house, and it’s important to make sure everything is running efficiently and not wasting fuel. That usually requires some professional maintenance at least once a year, but there are things you can do yourself.
Start by checking the filters. When they’re dirty, an appliance has to work harder, so clean and replace them regularly.
Next, check your doors and windows. Don’t let the warm air you’re paying for leak outside.
You can easily install weather stripping and draft blockers around your doors and windows to seal in warm air. For bigger gaps, use foam. Cold air can come in through outlets on external walls, so insert some foam outlet sealers.
And think about installing a smart thermostat. They save energy by lowering the temperature when you’re asleep or away. In fact, many of them use sensors and your phone’s location data to “learn” your routine and adjust your home’s temperature accordingly.
Adding an extra blanket to your bed and lowering the thermostat 3 to 8 C overnight can cut heating costs up to 10 per cent.
If you haven’t done this already, CR suggests reversing the direction of your ceiling fans so that the blades push warm air from the top of the room down.
You may also want to consider hiring an expert to do an energy audit in your home. They use thermal image equipment to find cold spots and leaks. That may end up leading to higher costs by adding more insulation or upgrading your heating systems but you can get money back in savings and from rebates.
CleanBC, BC Hydro and FortisBC offer rebates for different upgrades depending on the primary fuel-type used for heating in the home.
With files from Consumer Reports