Enercare survey finds Ontarians must be more proactive to maintain a safe, warm and energy-efficient home this season
TORONTO, Oct. 21, 2015 /CNW/ - Winter is on its way, and with it comes plunging temperatures and shorter days, which will have many Ontarians hibernating indoors and looking for ways to maximize comfort at home. According to survey data released today by Enercare Home Services, Ontarians have many methods for staying comfortable in the winter including adding extra blankets on the bed (51 per cent), wearing a favourite sweater or sweatshirt (50 per cent) and setting the furnace temperature to at least 22 degrees Celsius (41 per cent), while others indulge in comfort foods such as soup (23 per cent), hot chocolate (15 per cent) and homemade chili (14 per cent). But, they may be overlooking other ways to ensure their comfort.
"When cold temperatures hit, it's not surprising to hear that half of Ontarians stay comfortable by simply layering on blankets or their favourite sweater because it seems like the practical thing to do," said Dave Walton, Director of Home Ideas for Enercare Home Services. "However, home comfort isn't just about staying warm; it's also about peace of mind. Now is the time for Ontarians to ensure the inner workings of their home are operating properly and efficiently to prevent an untimely breakdown and keep their families safe and warm."
When it comes to safety this winter, Enercare urges Ontarians to make carbon monoxide ("CO") prevention and detection a priority. Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week (November 1 to 7, 2015) is a good reminder CO detectors are now mandatory in sleeping areas in residential homes with fuel-burning appliances or attached garages. The majority of Ontarians (83 per cent) are aware of this law, and 83 per cent have at least one CO detector in their home; however, only 66 per cent have them in close proximity to all bedrooms.
Annual furnace maintenance is another important step to help prevent a CO leak, but only 54 per cent of Ontarians admit to booking this service at least once a year. Additionally, 33 per cent worry about their furnace or water heater breaking in the middle of winter, a concern that can be alleviated by undertaking preventative maintenance.
While the majority of Ontarians (84 per cent) agree it's better to wear an extra layer of clothes indoors in order to turn down the thermostat to save money on energy costs, Enercare Home Services offers additional tips to help Ontario homeowners conserve energy, but still stay comfortable this winter:
- Replace or clean furnace filters every three months to ensure the furnace continues to work properly and to improve the home's air quality.
- Program the thermostat to raise and lower the temperature automatically so the home is not being heated when it's not needed. Homeowners can save up to three per cent on heating costs for every degree the thermostat is lowered.
- Check attic insulation and ensure there's at least 16 inches. Anything less and homeowners should consider topping it up. A properly insulated home is one of the fastest and most cost effective ways to cut down on your heating costs.
- Set ceiling fans to turn in a clockwise direction to push the warm air down in the room.
- Using a humidifier will make the air feel warmer, allowing homeowners to turn down the thermostat.
- Caulking and weather-stripping around doors, windows and exterior wall electrical outlets will help keep the warm air in during the winter.
"We hope Ontarians understand they really can help ensure the comfort and safety of their family at home this winter just by making simple changes around the house," said Walton. "Adopting energy-efficient practices at home and following preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of CO leaks will keep homeowners worry-free, and ensure the home is working in perfect harmony."
Additional survey findings include:
- Ontarians' preferred at-home comfort style is "sporty" with 65 per cent choosing to wear sweatpants or yoga pants with a sweatshirt and socks
- Nearly one-third (28 per cent) prefer a more traditional "comfort" style, wearing a bathrobe or pyjamas with slippers
- Just four per cent of Ontarians are comfortable baring it all during the winter
- Cold feet or hands make nearly half (49 per cent) of Ontarians uncomfortable in the winter, followed by wet shoes or socks (41 per cent), getting out of bed when the house is cold (40 per cent) and cold floors (29 per cent)
About Enercare Inc.
Enercare Inc. is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario and publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: ECI). As one of Canada's largest home and commercial services and energy solutions companies with approximately 1,000 employees, Enercare provides water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and other HVAC rental products, plumbing services, protection plans and related services to more than 1.2 million customers. Enercare is also the largest non-utility sub-meter provider, with electricity, water, thermal and gas metering contracts for condominium and apartment suites in Ontario, Alberta and elsewhere in Canada, and through its Triacta division, a premier designer and manufacturer of advanced sub-meters and sub-metering solutions. For more information on Enercare visit enercare.ca.
About the survey
From September 25th to September 27th, 2015 an online survey was conducted among 1005 randomly selected adult Ontario residents who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Ontario. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
SOURCE EnerCare Inc.