Electric Heat

» More in this section

Electric Heat

Many people are looking for ways to reduce costs and improve the comfort of their homes. Here are some easy ways to control your electric heat to maximize comfort and minimize costs.


  • Thermostats located in uninsulated basements and garages should have an "off" position. Otherwise, the heater will stay on during the coldest days.
  • Keep the rooms in your house at close to the same temperature setting (within 2°C). This will avoid drafts and long waiting periods for the room to heat up.
  • Comfortable Thermostat Settings: 21°C (70°F) when relaxing
    • 18°C (64°F) when sleeping
    • 16°C (61°F) when no one is home
  • For every degree the thermostat is set above 21°C (70°F), energy use and cost will increase 2 – 2.5 per cent.

Heat recovery ventilators

  • There is a significant difference between air exchangers and heat recovery ventilators (HRV) in terms of comfort and operating costs. Air exchangers circulate cold air around your home. A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) preheats incoming fresh air, so it reduces your heating costs.
  • A heat recovery ventilator that can recover 80 per cent of the heat from outgoing air can save $150 to $450 in heating costs compared to an air exchanger with no heat recovery.

Uninsulated spaces

  • When your basement is uninsulated, heat flows through the upstairs floor to the basement. That causes cold floors, drafts and increased heating costs. The heat you lose through an uninsulated basement is the same as having an 18" hole in your basement wall.
  • A heated room next to an unheated room or garage will lose heat. Insulate between them to keep the heat in.

Sealing and caulking

  • Sealing and caulking are important ways to keep comfortable and reduce costs. The basement sill plate is the largest source of air leakage in the home and should be carefully installed and sealed. Another 20 per cent of the air leakage is through electrical outlets on exterior walls. Use foam gaskets and caulking to keep the heat in around the outlets.