Oh Canada! While there are many advantages to being a small, nordic country, one disadvantage is the constant battle to keep heat inside and cold outside of one’s home.
The majority of Canadian homes are heated by furnaces with the exception of Quebec, where the majority of homeowners use electric, baseboard heating. A small portion of Canadians heat their homes using alternatives such as radiant heating or thermo-electric systems.
Many condo and apartment building have large-scale systems that pipe heat and AC to the entire building. Condo and apartment dwellers often feel the need for incremental heat solutions, especially with many new condos being constructed with floor-to-ceiling windows which allow cold in, and the heat to penetrate in the summer. Solutions can include freestanding ethanol fireplaces, and good window coverings.
We spoke with Ron Potter from Laird and Son Heating and Air Conditioning to get some tips on how to save energy and dollars while heating your home.
HomeStars: Other than having a really good heating system and having it serviced regularly, do you have any tips that a homeowner should think about when trying to conserve heat (and save $$) in their home during the winter?
Ron Potter: Having a properly sized heating system is essential to comfort and energy usage. A heat loss calculation will determine how much heat a house requires. Also choosing the product technology that will best serve the house is important. Every house has inadequacies and heating appliances have features that can overcome difficulties to some extent, such as modulating gas valves and zone controls.
Also, proper humidification greatly improves comfort and makes you feel warmer by stopping evaporation from your skin through dry air. Proper humidity can also help you keep the thermostat set lower as well, saving energy costs. A properly sized humidifier on your furnace is a huge comfort asset.
HS: With energy costs on the rise, are there any heating alternatives out there that homeowners might want to consider, or system upgrades that they should consider?
RP: Upgrading to high efficiency heating equipment, properly sized and maintained will save dollars and aid in protecting the environment. Poorly maintained equipment can be costly and dangerous.
HS: Any tips to help on how to optimize energy savings with a programmable thermostat (or other)?
RP: Programable thermostats, if used, will save up to 5% in heating costs. Many people disable the program due to the inconvenience of the rigid settings and the hassles of reprogramming.
A non-programmable thermostat is recommended where the family has irregular schedules. The last person to bed lowers the temperature setting and the first person to rise raises it again. Wifi thermostats are handy where constant schedule changes are to be implemented because of the ease of programming through a handheld device.
Ron recommends researching the the rebate from ieso for hydro efficiency upgrades if you are thinking of upgrading your system. Check your local gas supplier for gas savings upgrades.
No matter what system you use, there are many variables that impact the cost of heating a home. Following are the national average prices for each of the areas you need to be concerned with when heating your home. Not included in this chart are associated electricity or natural gas charges.
|Windows and doors replacement||$8,707|
|Shutters and Blinds||$3,480|
|Drapery and Curtains||$2,840|
|Chimney Build and Repair||$2,322|
How much a homeowner spends on each of these elements depends upon where they live, how large their house is, and the unique requirements specific to their needs.
Best of luck with heating your home this winter. Please consider writing a review when you’re done, it helps the whole community!
About Our Methodology:
Cost averages are calculated from all price data across Canada in the past 365 days in the specific categories above. This information does not represent pricing based on any specific contractor or job and is an average only.