Low cost hacks to winterize your home

Winter is around the corner and there’s a global gas shortage, which means higher energy bills—but some quick and easy DIY changes to your house can keep more money in your pocket. 

Driving the news: Canadians who use furnace or boiler systems to heat their home could see their energy bills increase up to 300% because of the energy crisis brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (among other factors), per CTVNews

  • The average increase is expected to be less than that (between 50% and 100%), but analysts say the trend is clear—staying warm at home during winter will cost more for the next few years. 

Why it's happening: Demand for gas is up everywhere. The European energy crisis has led the US to increase its natural gas exports to the continent, and Canada has upped its exports to feed US demand. 

  • As it stands, Canada's natural gas prices are five times lower than Europe's, but as cold weather sets in and demand begins to increase, the price is expected to soar. 

Why it matters for your money: Listen, there are only so many sweaters you can wear and so many jumping jacks you can do to stay warm. But cutting your energy costs doesn't require becoming Mr. Freeze (Arnold did his best, guys)—just winterize your home!

Here are five easy (and cheap) ways to keep the heat in this winter:

  • Seal the leaks. If you hear yourself saying, "is it drafty in here?" it's time to grab some weatherstripping or caulk and find the source. 

  • Add some insulation. Thick curtains will keep the heat in but the sun out. Using a window insulation kit will cost less and give you much-needed sunlight during dreary winter days.

  • Change directions. Here's a cool trick: running your ceiling fans in reverse will push the hot air down and away from the ceiling, allowing it to circulate through the room.

  • Freshen up your filters. A dirty filter forces your furnace to work harder, which costs you more money. Changing your filter every three months will ensure your furnace is running efficiently (and improve the air quality in your house too!)

  • Invite friends over. Each human being releases 100 watts of power on average. Have a cozy get-together (or dance party) and feel the heat. 

Dig deeper:  If you're looking to make a significant improvement in your home's efficiency, like installing a new furnace, there are many incentives, tax credits and rebates you can use to your advantage, all listed here.