When heating your home in the winter, it’s important to be mindful of your home’s energy use. These tips and tricks will help you save money without freezing.
We’re all searching for ways to feel comfortable and happy. In the winter months, that usually means staying warm. So as temperatures drop and the last remaining leaves fall from the trees, you’re probably starting to think about how to do that.
By now, you have already switched out your summer clothes for seasonally sensitive options (think heavy jackets, thick sweaters and snow boots). But when lakes freeze and the windchill starts to stretch closer to zero, warm clothing will only go so far. You also need to keep your home comfortable.
In Canada, the easiest way to keep any house warm is by using a central heating system. However, relying too heavily on these systems can get expensive quickly — especially if your home is large or not maintaining its heat.
Heat loss can occur through the roof, walls, windows and doors of any home, and it can have drastic effects on your monthly bills. Naturally, the more warm air escaping from a home, the more energy (and money) required to maintain its temperature. So in order to keep your home comfortable without spending a fortune, it’s important to minimize heat loss.
Thankfully, there are several ways to reduce heat loss in a home. Many are simple tasks you can handle yourself and others – such as new, energy efficient windows or doors – require more time and investment. But even a few quick, easy fixes can help you save money on energy consumption this winter.
Tips & Tricks
One easy and effective way to prevent heat from escaping your home is to block openings with curtains. Usually, thick curtains — even those with special thermal linings — are easy to find and fairly inexpensive. Try hanging these curtains in front of your windows and doors. Doing so will cover up the most significant areas for heat loss and add another layer of protection.
Remember the sun? Though it does not feel like the sun is working during the winter, it is still the least expensive, and most energy efficient way to warm your home. So in the afternoons, try to capture as much natural light as possible by opening blinds and curtains. To maximize the effect, close your curtains immediately at sunset.
Close Off Unused Rooms
Naturally, it costs less to heat a small home than a large one — the less square footage, the less energy required to keep it cozy. This in mind, one easy way to reduce the cost of heating your home is to minimize its surface area by closing unused rooms. By keeping doors shut, you prevent cold air from spreading throughout the house, and contain the heat you’ve generated to warm a smaller, more useful living space.
Just because heat comes out of your radiator does not mean it enters your living space. In fact, radiators attached to external walls tend to send a lot of their generated heat out toward the outdoors. In order to prevent this, try lining the walls directly behind your radiator with standard aluminum foil. Not only will this block the heat’s pathway out of the home, but it will reflect the heat back toward you and your family.
The easiest way to spike your monthly energy bill is by leaving your central heating system on all day and night. Besides being expensive, this habit is also unnecessarily wasteful, since you probably will not be home 24/7. So, in order to lower costs without sacrificing the comfort afforded by central heat, try setting your thermostat timers for a lower temperature when no one is home and during the night.
Replace drafty windows
If there is a particular area in your home that refuses to stay warm, then it’s possible you are experiencing drafts. To test this theory, try holding a candle up to the nearest window or door. Watch its flame — Does it flicker? If so, your windows probably have drafts. You may need new caulking, weather stripping or even window replacement.
Drafts are one of the most common — and most detrimental — causes of heat loss in the home. Besides being uncomfortable, they can be unnecessarily costly, since they waste expensive energy by letting heat escape. Depending on the scale of the problem, drafty windows may even justify an immediate window replacement — especially when the winter months are upon us. In many cases, windows and doors can be replaced during the winter so you can increase comfort and efficiency right away.
Invest in double glazing
Assuming the heat being lost through your windows is drastic enough to justify a replacement, consider investing in double glazed windows. While traditional windows contain just a single sheet of glass, double glazed windows are comprised of two sheets of glass separated by a gap filled with argon gas. This gap offers an additional layer of insulation, preventing heat loss while still allowing sunlight into the home.
Double glazed windows are usually more expensive than single glazed. However, the initial costs are offset by savings that come from reduced energy use – in winter as well as the summer season. Marvin offers double glazed windows in a wide variety of shapes, styles and finishes — each as beautiful as it is functional.
The tips and tricks above should help you keep more heat inside your home so you can stay cozy throughout the upcoming winter. But if more help is needed, or if your windows are especially drafty, you may want to consider a replacement.
Double glazed windows are the strongest option for keeping your home comfortable and efficient, since they provide an additional layer of insulation. When it comes to windows, the quality of the materials and manufacturing process is as important as the product features.
That’s where we come in. Each Marvin product is intentionally designed to fit your unique needs and style. Organized into our Signature, Elevate and Essential collections, they offer first class insulation and deliver quality you can see, touch and feel. Plus, we follow a replacement process that makes sense for you and work together to find sanctuary in your home.
For over 100 years, Marvin has designed purposefully, with people in mind, at every step. Not only can we help alleviate your replacement concerns, but we can help achieve more comfort and security in your home.