While the news uses terms like polar vortex, bomb cyclone, and snow hurricane, Canadians know these things for their true name: winter. The nation prides itself on how well it can withstand temperatures technically colder than Mars. Even as spring approaches, you expect to see another blizzard or two, and you won’t let something like snow or slush scare you — at least, not in the ways you might think.
Though winter doesn’t stop you from enjoying the great outdoors, it does make you concerned for your wallet. It’s an expensive season that can leave you struggling with your finances. If you’re worried you won’t escape Old Man Winter’s clutches without facing a financial emergency, keep reading to learn money saving tips designed for the season.
Reinforce your windows
Ideally, you would renovate your windows with triple-paned glass to eliminate any heat transfer happening from your windows. This can be an expensive upgrade when you don’t have a lot of excess cash hanging around. When you don’t have enough to pay for this overhaul, do the next best thing by covering your leaky windows with plastic. You can find this at most hardware stores. Once installed, it helps to insulate your glass by eliminating draughts.
Stop up draughts
According to Toronto Hydro, draughts can cost you as much as 25 percent of your total heating costs. By plugging these leaks permanently, you can keep the warm air where it belongs: inside and not heating the neighbourhood. Invest in caulking or weather stripping and make sure you insulate windows, doors, vents, and other outlets that access the outdoors.
Install a new furnace
Every appliance has an expected lifespan. When your furnace reaches its end, it must work harder to heat your home. As a result, it uses a lot more energy. It’s also liable to break down more often, requiring you to call out to an HVAC repair service regularly. If the added cost of its operation and maintenance have started to add up, consider investing in an energy efficient model. When shopping, look for the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. A higher AFUE promises a higher efficiency.
Look for energy rebates
The federal government and most provincial governments have tax incentives for homeowners who choose energy efficient appliances. Look for any tax credits and rebates that may help you cover this cost. There’s just one caveat to relying on rebates. You need to buy the furnace before you qualify for any cash back. If you don’t enough savings to cover the average price of a new appliance and its installation, payday loan companies work quickly to bridge the gap between your savings and your rebate. You can qualify for a loan within as few as five minutes when you apply with an online lender like GoDay. However, the rates and terms differ from lender to lender, so you take the time to see how payday loans can help you depending on the source.
Tweak your thermostat
You’re taking a bite out of your budget whenever you turn your thermostat up after you feel a chill. Try to keep your thermostat set at 20°C during the day when you’re home, and lower it to 18°C when you’re sleeping. Layer up with sweaters and make use of blankets to keep warm if you still feel cold. And when you know you’ll be away for an extended amount of time, lower your thermostat to 15°C. This will save you around 20 percent of your heating costs.
Install a smart thermostat to remotely manage your temperatures with your phone. The energy you save by using it will pay for the cost of its installation.
Let your bath sit
Sometimes, blankets and sweaters don’t work. A nice soak in a hot bath is the only way to warm up after a long day spent outside. If you take advantage of your tub, don’t release the plug as soon as you’re ready to get out. Let the bath water stand until it releases the leftover heat and humidity in your home.
Spring may be on its way, but winter’s not ready to leave just yet. Make sure you’re prepared should Old Man Winter decide to stay longer than he’s welcome. Keep the last of the season on budget by following these tips. They may be simple, but they can protect your finances from one last blizzard.