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4 ways to save on heating costs for your home this winter

Get your home winter-ready and protect it from the elements with these tips from Geoff at JL’s Home Hardware Building Centre

With the colder weather approaching, it’s time to get serious about keeping warm.

We spoke to Geoff at JL’s Home Hardware Building Centre in Guelph, to learn more about what homeowners can do to a) stop heat from escaping their homes and b) save on heating costs.

To start, you have to think about where heat is escaping from your home. This means you’ll want to seal around your windows and doors. Do this now and when the temperature really drops, you’ll be so glad you took advantage of the Fall weather and winterized your home when you had the chance.

Geoff recommends that homeowners seal and caulk the gaps around your windows and doors, as this will help prevents drafts of cold air from entering your home, as well as stop any ice (or ice damage) from accumulating there.

Use weather stripping to reinforce your door and window seals; it helps to insulate your home and can also help you save both energy and money. For best results, winterproof your windows, doors and garages using a combination of window insulator kits, garage door seals and draft guards.

Weather stripping

The right weather stripping will help you combat cold winds, rain and snow. We don’t often think about it, but even at the height of summer when it is hot and humid outside, no one wants cool air escaping from their home.

Good window and door weather stripping, however, can help you save money because you can keep both your heating and air conditioning use down. Other bonuses? It will also keep out bugs and pests.

Weather seals come in a range of materials and styles and are quite easy to use. They’re also very durable, made to withstand big weather extremes. As for materials, you can choose from rubber, vinyl, felt, foam, aluminum, polymer and more.

Many of us have chilly or leaking garages and figured we just have to live with it, but with the right garage door weather stripping you can put an end to several issues.

Is snow coming in under the bottom of your garage doors? If so, you need a draft stopper. Door sweeps are another great option, as they seal any gaps around your door and keep both the snow and the rain out.

You can use weather seal adhesives too; these are easily applied to any door or window and will provide protection immediately. Many weather-stripping materials come in a neutral colour that will match your door or trim, but there are paintable options too if you’re looking for an exact match.


As mentioned above, caulking any cracks and gaps that you see will create a seal that keeps water, air, snow and bugs out. Use caulking to weatherproof a door or window; for small projects you can use caulking that comes in a squeezable tube and is really easy to use. For larger projects, a rigid tube and a caulking gun are recommended.

It’s always better to start by removing and scraping away any existing caulking; you can also use caulk remover. This allows you to start with a clean surface, which is essential for creating a proper seal.

Use a specialty caulk that is specifically meant to be used on windows. Don’t forget to think about the colour. Choose the hue that most closely matches the area or buy a caulk that is paintable.


In any typical stud-frame house you’d find here in Canada, there are four specific areas where homeowners would be smart to upgrade the insulation. Some of these could be DIY projects, while others are definitely best left to the professionals.

The attic

The simplest, most cost-effective solution for insulating your attic is to use blown-in insulation. If you’d rather tackle this job yourself and don’t mind a bit of extra work, you could install batt insulation instead; it’s more work but you won’t have to rent a machine.

Have you heard of radiant bubble foil? Placed on top of your attic insulation it reduces summertime heat transmission to the living areas below. In Canada we use a version that is perforated, which helps stop moisture from building up.

The basement

Your home can lose a lot of heat through its basement walls, so it’s important to ensure that you have adequate insulation.

Many choose to use batt insulation on their wall frames, but this can be risky: because they are fibre-based, they are not able to resist the growth of moisture and mold. Spray foam or rigid pieces of foam, however, are custom cut to fit in the spaces where outside walls meet the floor joists, which is the only truly effective way to insulate these areas.

Cathedral ceilings

Cathedral ceilings can be a challenge to insulate well, thanks to their location and height. Usually, batt insulation is stuffed into the space between the rafters, but this often results in internal condensation forming within the roof frame, which clearly is not ideal. Using spray foam between the rafters is a much better solution.

For more information about keeping your home warm throughout the winter months, visit JL's Home Hardware Building Centre or call 519-822-8230.