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Energy-Efficient Heating Tips

March 4, 2014 - Updated: March 4, 2014

We're all becoming more aware of how we use electricity in our homes.

Things to Consider:

  1. In a typical home, about 60% of energy costs are tied up in heating and cooling and 20% in hot water. So, those are the first places to look when it comes to saving energy.
  2. Consider how you can save on air conditioning, heating and hot water costs. Look specifically what you can do in spring, summer, fall and winter.
  3. Many of these energy savers take just a change of habit. Others will require a little bit of work and a few purchases.
  4. Start with the basics and you'll begin to see some savings.


  • During the winter months, as much as 3% of the energy your furnace uses can be saved by lowering your thermostat by 1 degree. *
  • Install a programmable thermostat. It will turn the heat up before you wake, turn the heat down when you leave home and back up when you return - automatically.
  • Recommended thermostat settings for a comfortable environment are 21 °C (70 °F) when you're home relaxing, 18 °C (65 °F) when you're sleeping, and 15 °C (59 °F) when you're away from your home for an extended period of time.**
  • Ensure that the hole in the wall behind the thermostat is insulated to prevent any drafts.
  • Install your thermostat out of direct sunlight and away from cold air or drafts.
  • Every few months, remove the thermostat cover and dust it gently with a soft brush.


  • When not in use, close your fireplace damper and cover the opening to prevent drafts and heat loss.
  • Grates made of C-shaped metal tubes help draw cool air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
  • If your gas fireplace has a pilot light, turn it off during the summer. It can cost about $3-$5 per month to keep lit.
  • When your fireplace is operating, turn down your main thermostat.
  • If your gas fireplace has a thermostat, keep it at the lowest setting you can.
  • Be sure to install glass doors and an insert in your wood-burning fireplace – otherwise, it can draw heat out of your home.

Insulating and Draft-Proofing:

  • Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
  • Weather-strip your windows and doorways.
  • Keep all your exterior doors tightly shut and try to avoid frequent in-and-out traffic. Stylish, padded door runners help reduce drafts under doorways (in a pinch, towels also work).
  • Use a dehumidistat to maintain the right humidity level for health and comfort. It senses the humidity level and runs the ventilating fan whenever it's needed.
  • Use insulating shutters or drapes and keep them closed during winter nights and summer days.
  • Caulk cracks around your windows and doors.

Electrical Heating and Space Heaters:

  • Place electrical heaters far away from water sources.
  • Be certain that your heater is placed on a level, hard and non-flammable surface, not on rugs or carpets.
  • Never dry clothes by draping them over the heater.
  • If you must use an extension cord, for safety reasons, use a heavy-duty cord, so it doesn't overheat.
  • Always try to plug into a ground fault circuit interrupter, which prevents electric shock by shutting the heater off if electrical leakage develops.
  • Check the temperature of the grille face to ensure it doesn't become too hot to touch.

Tagged with: energy saving heating tips save on bills fireplaces space heaters insulating royal lepage terrequity real estate tips article
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