Top 10 ways in winter to maximize indoor comfort

(NC)—Home-heating bills can pack a punch into household budgets as Canadians prepare for the cold winter months ahead. Hiring a licensed contractor to inspect your furnace and clean your filters is a top priority before the temperature dips down, but be sure to consider the following elements that help maximize indoor comfort when the weather outdoors becomes too much to bear.

With frosty temperatures on the horizon, The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) offers 10 simple suggestions to help Canadian homeowners make the most of their home heating system and keep the costly energy bills at bay during the colder months.

1 Audit doesn't have to be a bad word.

Have a licensed professional conduct an energy audit of your home to help assess the efficiency of your current heating system. This audit will show you how and where your home loses energy, as well as it will help you save on your monthly bills and increase your home's re-sale value. An official ecoEnergy evaluation may also qualify you for some healthy government incentives to make energy-saving home improvements.

2 Your heater needs a jacket, too.

Wrap your hot water heater in an insulating jacket, preventing standby heat losses.

3 Spring cleaning.

Clean or replace filters on forced-air furnaces every three months.

4 Let the light in.

Open your curtains or blinds so the light from the sun can help heat rooms that receive direct sunlight.

5 Install a humidifier.

Moist air feels warmer than dry air and can help you feel comfortable even though your thermostat is set at a lower temperature. Hire a licensed contractor to install the humidifier to ensure it is done correctly.

6 Book a tune up.

Schedule an annual tune-up for your boiler, furnace or heat pump to ensure that your heating equipment is operating at peak efficiency. Visit the HRAI website to locate the appropriate professional in your area.

7 Turn it down.

Install a programmable thermostat that can be set to lower the temperature when you are away from the home or at nighttime, helping your family save on energy costs. Hire a licensed professional to install one of these thermostats so you can start saving on your monthly energy bills.

8 Pick your favourites.

Close off heating vents in rooms that are not regularly occupied to maximize the heat in those rooms which are used most.

9 Don't let heat escape unnecessarily.

Keep your doors and windows shut and make sure they are properly sealed so you keep the heat in when you need it.

10 Clear the way.

Make sure all of your heating vents and baseboards are clear of obstructions and furniture to allow for maximum output from your heater.

You can find a licensed heating contractor in your area who can help ensure your indoor comfort is maximized (and your energy bills minimized) this season online at


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