As winter approaches, we’ll be relying more and more on our home heating system. A well-maintained heating system and airtight home can help you stay warm and worry-free as the snow begins to fall. Also, making sure that your heating system is running efficiently can help you save money on your monthly hydro bill.
So, where do you start? Here’s a quick guide to help you create a cozy and energy efficient home environment:
Getting your home ready for winter
If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to schedule a maintenance appointment for your heating equipment. Regular maintenance will help your system last longer and run more efficiently. Don’t forget to change your furnace filter every 3 months. If you have a wood fireplace, consult a chimney sweep on how you can reduce heat loss when the fireplace isn’t in use.
You’ll also want to check your home for air leaks. Even the most efficient of heating systems won’t help keep your bills down if the warm air is escaping your home. Install weatherstripping, caulking, and gaskets around doors, windows and electrical outlets to reduce air leakage and save energy.
Saving money during
the heating season
Your thermostat plays a huge role in helping you save energy. By lowering the temperature by 3°C or more for at least 8 hours a day (such as when you’re asleep or away at work), you can save up to 4% on your heating costs. This can be done even more easily if you install a Wi-Fi connected smart thermostat, which allows you to remotely adjust the climate of your home. Some can even learn from your schedule and sense when you’re home and adjust the temperature accordingly.
An often-overlooked component of your heating system is your floor registers. Keeping your floor registers open and unobstructed is a good way to keep the air flowing and warm up your home. However, it’s a good idea to close them in rooms that are less frequently used.
In Manitoba, we’re lucky to benefit from many sunny winter days. Harness the sun’s heat to save energy by opening your shades in the morning on the sunny side of your house and closing them late in the day.
What do I do if I need
a new heating system?
If your heating system is old and inefficient, Manitoba Hydro can help. Energy efficient furnaces and boilers can be financed through Manitoba Hydro’s residential loan program. The monthly payments are added to your energy bill, making it an easy and convenient option to upgrade your heating system. Go to hydro.mb.ca/psrl for eligibility requirements and details on how to apply.
For more information about home heating systems, visit hydro.mb.ca/heating.