Only heat the rooms you’re using

A woman sleeping in a cozy warm bediStockEven if you have a gas furnace, you may supplement heat with electric space heaters, especially in basements or other cold areas of the house. One of the biggest advantages of baseboard heating (compared to central heat) is that you only heat the rooms that you're using.

One option is to keep your central thermostat set at the nighttime temperature of 16°C and use a space heater to top up the temperature in the room you’re in. (Heating costs rise about 5% for every degree above 20°C that you set your thermostats.) Keep in mind, though, that space heaters are inefficient at heating large areas.

 

Throw a rug over a cold floor

A couple rolling out a carpet over a wooden flooriStockTile or hardwood floors can make a room feel colder than it actually is. You can solve that problem by placing area rugs over those surfaces where they come in contact with your feet. If your feet are warm, you'll feel much warmer in a room, even if the thermostat is turned a degree or two cooler.

 

Close vents to rooms that are not in use

Someone inspecting a heating vent on the flooriStockIf you have a forced-air furnace, you can focus the heat on the rooms you’re using and avoid wasting it on the rooms you’re not by closing the heating vents in those inactive rooms.

 

Maintain your fireplace

A fire burning on a fireplace hearthiStockAn open fireplace is one of the most inefficient heat sources in your home, as it draws warm air up the chimney and pulls cold air into your home. With some simple maintenance you can make your existing fireplace more efficient and cut down on wasted heat and make your home more comfortable.

Check the damper periodically to ensure it can close tightly and is in good working order. Close the damper tightly when the fireplace is not in use.

 
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