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Turning down the heat

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Canadian households spend a significant portion of their income on energy just to heat their homes. For some, the heating season can last up to 10 months. Adjusting the thermostat reduces heating expenses and conserves energy. Seniors are the most likely to turn down the heat.

In 2006, 90% of households were able to control their home’s temperature using a thermostat. Just over half of households with a thermostat (53%) reduce the temperature while they sleep. About 7 in 10 households that programmed their thermostat lowered the temperature when they went to bed. However, less than half (46%) of households with an unprogrammed or non-programmable thermostat did so.

In the heating season, most households set the temperature between 20°C and 22°C when they are at home and awake and between 16°C and 18°C when they are sleeping. Six out of 10 households used a forced air furnace as their primary heating system in 2006. One in four used electric baseboards, 5% had hot water radiators, and the rest used wood stoves, fireplaces, heat pumps or other equipment.