Unless you have been hibernating for the past few months, you are probably well aware that winter has hit Canada. HARD! There is no denying that between heating bills, holiday shopping, extra gas usage, winter tires and all the other expenses of this snowy season, winter is one of the most expensive times of the year. But with a few simple changes, there can be some significant savings on this season’s monthly bill. Here are the top 5 easy ways that you can cut back and shave some hard-earned dollars off of your expenses.
1) Use Your Ceiling Fan
The use of a ceiling fan might sound counter-productive to what we are trying to accomplish here. But, as most people are aware, heat rises. So that would stand to reason that the heat in your house also rises. Did you know that a typical house ceiling is several degrees warmer than the floor? With the colder air residing on the floor, our feet get cold, and we turn up the heat. Setting your ceiling fan to slowly rotate in a clockwise direction helps control the flow of air back down towards the floor. Rotating slowly doesn’t consume very much energy and, while turning in a clockwise direction, the air from the floor gets pulled up thereby pushing the warmer air down along the walls and to the floor. Such a small, simple thing to do to effectively warm up your home without using very much energy.
As a side note, in summer using the ceiling fan in a counterclockwise direction will help keep your house cooler.
2) Use Your Stove and Oven
Another easy way to help heat up your home without turning up that energy-sucking (and therefore money-costing) thermostat is to make better use of your oven. A very smart and simple trick is to simply open your oven door once you are finished your roasting or baking and let the heat escape into your home. Now your home gets warm AND smells delicious all at the same time! (Plus you can save money on air fresheners too – LOL).
Also, making sure that you cook at home as often as possible is a great way to save some money. Not only are you saving money in the obvious sense (not spending on restaurants), you are also helping to heat your house using the heat from your stovetop.
3) Never turn on your exhaust fans!
Something as simple as turning on your exhaust fan while taking a shower might seem like a great way to remove the steam from your bathroom but you are actually sucking the heat from your home and sending it outside! What a huge waste of heat and money! Much like the above-mentioned tip of using the oven heat to effectively help reduce your thermostat needs, you can do the same thing with your shower steam. Simply open your bathroom door while showering (or right after if you prefer) and let that steam warm your domicile! If, for moisture and mold purposes, you need to get the steamy air out of your bathroom more rapidly, don’t hesitate to use a small fan to push the air out into the adjoining rooms and speed up the air distribution process.
4) Layer Up!
This one might seem like a no-brainer but wearing a layered set of warm clothes allows you to turn down your thermostat. And, be honest, how many among us wear thick wool socks or big, warm slippers when moving around in our home? I am the first to admit that I am often bare-footed! Keeping your feet warm is the number one way to stay warm enough to turn down your heaters. Turning your heat down by a degree or two can mean significant savings at the end of the month. But just wearing a big sweater might be a good idea, however layering up is the top way to remain warm, which means a t-shirt PLUS a sweater on top and socks PLUS slippers.
5) Use the Power of the Sun!
The sun is our most important source of heat! Harnessing its power as much as possible is key to reducing our heating costs. But timing is everything when it comes to the sun! Making sure to open your curtains and blinds to any sun-facing window is an easy way to let the sun in to help heat your home. But, as soon as the sun is no longer shining through that window, it is important to close the blinds and curtains immediately so that they act as a layer of insulation to keep the heat in and the cold out.
Reducing your heat expenses is the number one way to save money at the end of the month. And these simple tips are easy and low maintenance ways to do just that. Check out the iCash blog for more great money saving tips: iCash blog.
And, as always, if you find yourself in a tight spot this winter, don’t hesitate to reach out at iCash.ca for some financial assistance!