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Hydro-Québec & Energir Have Shared Tips On How To Save Money On Your Energy Bill This Winter

Tips to save money on heating, according to the companies taking your money.♨️

Staff Writer
Hydro-Québec website. Right: Hydro Quebec building seen from St-Laurent street in Montreal.

Hydro-Québec website. Right: Hydro Quebec building seen from St-Laurent street in Montreal.

Living in Quebec comes with a cost — namely, a winter budget for keeping warm with proper clothing and heating. But Montrealers aren't completely helpless in the face of upward-creeping energy prices. Both Hydro-Québec and Energir have published tips to avoid unnecessary expenses and keep your energy bill reasonable even amid freezing temps.

First, Hydro-Québecencourages residents to seek out air leaks and improve insulation in drafty areas. That could mean some additional labour every year. Hydro says you might want to add some seasonal maintenance on top of your one-time fixes.

Door and window frames are an obvious place to start looking for drafts. You might want to finally get around to scraping that years-old gunk out from your apartment balcony sliding door frame, too: that crust can prevent doors from fully sealing out outside air, Energir says.

Then there are the less intuitive culprits. Electrical outlets, pipes, ventilation ducts and your bathroom fan are all potential draft points.

Hydro recommends seasonal caulking or weatherstripping on windows and doors. An alternative for openings you don't plan on using until the heat returns is to cover them in plastic shrink wrap.

The company says you could also save some dollars by installing "insulating foam sealers" behind light switches and outlet covers, sealing gaps around spots where pipes enter your home and by cleaning exhaust vents, like the one for your bathroom fan, to make sure they can actually close and not just stay open all winter.

For those who own their homes (or have an agreeable landlord) and are willing to spend a little more, Energir suggests installing a smart thermostat to save between 7% and 10% on energy costs. It also recommends using ceiling fans to recirculate warm air — though then you still have to contend with a draft.

But the easiest way to save money on your winter energy bill might be to accept making yourself slightly more uncomfortable.

Hydro recommends turning down the heat just by one degree Celsius and leaving unoccupied rooms unheated with closed doors. Energir recommends setting the water heater to 60 C.

You might have to rethink your furniture placement, too, even if that means some awkward or less-than-ideal arrangements in your cramped Montreal apartment. That reading chair by the window might be the perfect spot to unwind after work, but it could be costing you if it's right in front of a heat source.

Hydro advises customers to place furniture away from heat sources and to keep them free of dust. Yes, that might mean crouching down and reaching into some long-uncleaned recesses.

Finally, a simple habit such as closing blinds and curtains at night can also keep your heating costs down, according to Hydro. During the day, you can open the blinds or curtains for windows exposed to direct sunlight.

If, despite all those recommendations, you are still overspending, you can start tracking your energy consumption on an hourly basis thanks to this tool by Hydro-Québec, and figure out what is costing you exactly.

    Charlotte Hoareau
    Staff Writer
    Charlotte Hoareau is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused in things to do in Montreal and Montreal weather. She is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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