As with most years, it seems and feels like winter has come too early. It’s time we acclimate to the icy Northern winds and low temperatures. We also need to brace ourselves for the financial side of winter. Many families are looking for ways to reduce their heating bills as they struggle with the ripple effects of COVID-19. Some are still without work, an increased amount of people are working from home, and in general, the cost of living continues to rise while pay rates remain stagnant.
What are some practical ways to make your home warm and cozy without generating a giant utility bill? These three types of additional heating sources will make this winter a little easier… when you’re inside anyway.
1. A WOODBURNING FIREPLACE
If you have a woodburning fireplace or stove, it’s time to start using it. Not only is wood an inexpensive way to add heat to your home, but it’s also the most efficient. Thanks to advancements in logging laws and certifications for woodburning units, it is also an eco-friendly option. Make sure you consider the following tips to ensure you are getting the most out of your woodburning fireplace or stove.
- Update Your Fireplace Unit | Make sure that your woodburning stove or fireplace is up to date. Not only will an up to date unit leave less of an impact on the environment, but it will also ensure that the actual heating aspects are as efficient as possible.
- Close In Your Fireplace Unit | While an open concept fireplace is lovely to look at and a favoured concept, it is not at all an efficient way to heat your home. The hot air generated from your fire needs to be appropriately funnelled through your home in order to get an even distribution. Installing a glass door on your unit will ensure you are getting the best heat out of your fires. Hydro Quebec also suggests, “When you use your fireplace, as soon as the fire has died down, shut the doors and damper (to close the chimney flue) to keep warm air in and cold air out.”
- Choose Local Wood to Burn | In order to reduce the carbon footprint of your wood stock, shop local. Not only will buying from local wood suppliers significantly reduce the pollutants associated with logging transport, but you will also be supporting your local economy. Go one step further, picking your firewood from dead trees and fallen branches on your property if you happen to live in a wooded territory.
2. AN ELECTRIC FIREPLACE
If your home is not equipped with a fireplace, or a woodburning fireplace isn’t possible, you can opt for an electric unit. The benefits of an electric fireplace are many.
- An Eco-friendly Option | Electric fireplaces are cost-effective for additional heating. They are also considered entirely green. Just make sure that you don’t plan on heating your entire home with it. These electric units work best as an additional source of heating.
- Easy to Install | Electric fireplace units are incredibly easy to install and available in many styles; they are aesthetically pleasing. You can set your glow to the colour and brightness of your choosing. Opt for a glamourous crystal base or even a faux wood base for a real woodburning look and feel. Place it on the wall or use a stand for easy placement anywhere in the home.
- Heat Where You Need it Most | As an electric fireplace is a secondary source of heat, it’s ideal to install them in the coldest areas of the home. These are perfect for the bedroom, any room above an unheated garage and even your open concept main room. While one unit won’t put out enough heat to warm your entire home, it will bring up the temperature by a degree or two, enough to feel comfortable and allow you to keep the central thermostat in its ideal setting.
3. ELECTRIC SPACE HEATERS
Space heaters are an easy fix to warm the cold areas in the house. While the downside of space heaters is that you need one in every room and that they need supervision, the upsides are far more significant.
- An Inexpensive Option | Electric space heaters are inexpensive units, especially compared to a full-fledged fireplace. You can easily find a decent small space heater for around $20, capable of warming up your workspace. Make sure to carefully read the reviews to know how large an area the unit heats.
- Fun and Stylish Options | Space heaters come in many colours, styles and shapes. Pick something sleek and neutral for a modern space or cute and colourful for a playful area. You can even find a space heater with cat ears!
- Automatic Shut Off Models | In the past, space heaters have had a bad reputation as they would pose a danger when left on too long. That is no longer the case. Opt for a model with a timer or choose a space heater with an automatic shut-off mode.
Whichever option you choose, make sure you take a little bit of time to consider the pros and cons. Remember that you don’t need the unit to heat the entire house, just the essential living areas. Raising the temperature by even one degree will make your family that much more comfortable without raising your central thermostat.
You can find more tips on saving on your winter heating bill in our previous blog articles. For example, “to save money on electric heating costs, you can replace regular thermostats for programmable ones, then regulate them so that they lower automatically at night when you are sleeping and won’t notice the difference in temperature.” – Your Electric Bill: 3 Areas Where You Can Save Big.
24Cash is a Canadian company supporting hard-working Canadians. Consider a quick online loan if you need a hand covering your winter utility bills. We are here to help you through the tough times.