10 Tips To Keep Your Home Warm This Winter

Published on November 06, 2019

Tips to keep your home warm this winter 2019

1)   Air Seal

Air sealing is a great way to increase the overall energy efficiency of your home. It’s also a fast and cost effective means of tackling pesky drafts or temperature fluctuations in the home.


Air sealing can be accomplished by caulking and/or weather stripping around drafty windows or doors, around your attic hatch, and around your ventilation, plumbing, or duct work. Weatherstripping is used to seal things that move, such as doors or operable windows. Caulking is generally used to seal cracks or gaps. Additionally, you can install (or ask a professional to install) foam gaskets behind outlets on the wall to stop drafts from coming in.


The first step in finding air leaks around your home is to have an energy assessment (or energy audit) completed. Your Registered Energy Advisor will conduct a blower door test, which forces interior air out, causing exterior air to flow back inside through cracks, gaps, and leaks in your home. If air leaks are present, you will be able to feel the air moving in from the cracks/gaps around your home while the blower door fan is running.


To have an energy assessment completed on your home to make your home more energy efficient, contact BSG today!

2)   Upgrade Your Insulation

Upgrading your insulation may be the most effective retrofit for your home this winter. The insulation, or the thermal barrier, of your home is essential to reducing the radiant heat loss through your homes exterior walls and ceilings.


Retrofits, such as upgrading your attic insulation, or adding insulation to your basement, can stop the loss of heat from your home. Installed with a proper air barrier, this will help keep moisture out, and will help seal up any leaks throughout the home. In turn, this creates a more even temperature throughout the home, leaving your home more comfortable, more affordable, and more energy efficient.


The best part about upgrading your insulation is that there are insulation rebates available! The current rebate program is called the Home Efficiency Rebate, and offers up to $5,000 back in energy efficient upgrades.

3)   Move Your Furniture

Take a moment to note where your furniture is situated. Is it covering any vents? Furniture that is placed over top of the vents will reduce the circulation, resulting in uneven heat flow throughout the room.


If your furniture isn’t covering any vents and it still feels drafty, try moving your furniture beside the interior walls. If your home is older, the exterior walls may have insufficient insulation and may be cold as a result. Interior walls will feel much warmer if this is the case!

4)   Check Your Furnace Filter

Be sure to change your furnace filter on a regular basis! Replacing your furnace filter can increase the efficiency of the unit. By increasing the efficiency, you’ll reduce the overall energy consumption of the furnace.


If your furnace needs replacing altogether, there are rebates available in Ontario. By switching to an energy efficient model, you could be eligible for rebates. Don’t forget to have an energy assessment completed before you begin any renovations in order to qualify!

5)   Open Your Blinds

Don’t be afraid to open your blinds during the day! Allowing the sunlight in during the day will help to heat your home. Just be sure to close your blinds at night - blinds can act as a barrier to keep drafts out! Further, you can look into purchasing thermal blinds, or insulated blinds. These types of blinds were designed to help keep the heat inside your home.

6)   Install A Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are a great investment for helping to reduce your home’s heating and cooling bills. A smart thermostat helps minimize costs by heating or cooling your home while you’re in it. You can easily set the thermostat to begin heating your home to an optimal temperature so it’s ready for when you get home. When no one is in the home, you can keep it a touch cooler than you would normally, saving you energy and money.


A smart thermostat will also track your energy usage over time, providing you with a history of how your energy usage has changed over time. It also tells you how you can adjust your preferences to further decrease costs!

7)   Reverse Your Ceiling Fan

Be sure your ceiling fans are running clockwise in the winter! By running your fan clockwise, you’re pushing the warm air back down, while gently drawing the cool air up. This will help keep the already warmed air in circulation, which will help make the room feel warmer.


10 tips to keep your home warm this winter 2019

8)   Replace Old Windows or Doors

After having a blower door test conducted on your home, you will notice which windows or doors are very leaky or old. It may be a good time to consider replacing the old windows or doors with more energy efficient models.


The good news is that there are rebates available for the replacement of old windows or doors, with new energy star rated ones. The Home Efficiency Rebate offers up to $5,000 for energy efficient upgrades to your home.

9)   Rugs

Have you considered adding a rug to your wood or tile floor? Rugs are a great way to keep your floors (and feet) warm in the winter time. They also help absorb noise!

10)               Have an Energy Assessment Completed On Your Home

Having an energy assessment, or energy audit, completed on your home by a Registered Energy Advisor is the best way to see how your home is performing in terms of energy efficiency! Your Registered Energy Advisor (or REA) will do a thorough inspection of all the different aspects of your home that relate to its overall energy performance. You’ll also be provided with a complete list of recommended energy efficient upgrades, and how much your home could improve by implementing those retrofits.


Your home will also receive an EnerGuide rating, and EnerGuide Label. Both of these help you understand your home’s energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions, and your home’s overall energy efficiency. 


If you’d like to see how your home is performing, be sure to contact BSG to schedule your energy assessment! Unfortunately winter is coming, but it’s not too late to upgrade your home so it’s in the best shape to take on Ontario’s winters!

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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