How To Reduce Electricity and Heating Costs During the Brutal Toronto Winters

One of the biggest shocks after moving to Toronto was realizing how expensive utilities were here, especially during winters which are significantly colder than winters in Amsterdam.  Last winter was especially cold in Toronto, which caused my heating bills to skyrocket.

The average temperature in Amsterdam during January is 38 F, while in Toronto it’s 25  F.  That means its 13 F warmer on average during January in Amsterdam.  This winter in Toronto was especially brutal with average temperature of 9 F during February!  No wonder my heating bill was through the roof.

It’s currently summer in Toronto, but it’s never to early to prepare for the upcoming winter to make sure your heating bills are kept low without sacrificing comfort.

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1. Turn Down the Heat During Night

You don’t exactly need the room to be 68 F during the night.  Instead, bundle up under your blankets to keep yourself warm and turn your heat down to around 55 F.  Don’t bother wearing boxers and no shirt during winter.  Wear a nice comfy sweater, thick pajamas, and warm socks.  Then when you wake up you can increase the heat again to 68 F.  This little trick saves an enormous amount in heating bills.

2.  Make Sure The Heat is Always Off in Unused Rooms

It’s crazy how many people leave the heat on in rooms that they’re not using.  Always turn off the heat in unused rooms, and make sure you close their doors tight to minimize heat loss.  Make sure your indoor doors aren’t leaving too much space for heat to escape.

3.  Make Your Furnace is Working Properly, and Replace It if It Isn’t

Hire an electrician to ensure that your furnace is working 100%.  A furnace that’s malfunctioning can drastically drive up heating bills or make or your life miserable if its stop working.   Its important to perform regular maintenance on it.   If your furnace is having issues and needs to be replaced, I recommend hiring a licensed Toronto electrician and having them take care of the issue.

Winter in Toronto

4.  Make Sure Your Doors and Windows Aren’t Leaking Heat

Most Doors that open to the outdoors usually consist of two doors in parallel to protect the home from the cold.  The rule is that if you can see daylight underneath your door, it’ll leak heat.  In that case you’ll need to get a contractor to modify the door to make sure it doesn’t leak heat.  For your windows you always want to make sure that you have a double layered window, and that both windows are layered shut.

Safety in Toronto: Why You Shouldn’t Worry But Here Are Some Precautions Anyways

Many North American cities have the reputation of being unsafe.   However, this mostly applies to American cities.  Canadian cities are far less dangerous than most American cities, for a variety of sociopolitical reasons.  While I’m not going into that, Toronto is in general far safer than let’s say Chicago, or any of those cities.   It’s one of the reasons why we are considered the best city to live in in the world. If you end up going through certain parts of Chicago or New York City, chances are you could get robbed quite easily.  There are neighborhoods in LA that even the cops are wary of entering.  This does not exist in Toronto.  Yes, there are certain parts of Toronto that are shady, but they don’t approach anywhere near the level of danger present in many American ghettos and downtown areas.

jane and finch

The two areas most known for shady criminal activities are the areas of and around Sherbourne and Dundas, and Jane and Finch.  Those areas are known for their high crime rates.  Other shady areas are Malvern, Rexdale, Parkdale, Moss Park, and Regent Park.   In fact, the whole Sherbourne strip from Gerrard to Queen is shady.  If you do live in those areas, its not the end of the world, but you want to make sure your doors are locked and that you’re not taking lonely strolls at 3 AM in the night.  If you’re a man, you’re probably safe drunkely walking home from bars, but if you’re nervous I would just take a cab.  I have many female friends who walk alone through those areas and feel fine.

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If you are anywhere else in Toronto, you should be fine.  I personally have very rarely felt in danger in Toronto.  You do hear about the occasional knifepoint robbery in a nice neighborhood but in all my years living in Toronto, I’ve only heard one story of that happening.  You should obviously make sure you follow basic precautions such as hiring a high quality locksmith.  I personally used a well known locksmith in Mississauga since I actually live on the border of Mississauga and Toronto.  He installed a robust security system that includes a hidden camera near the door that is automatically linked to my cell phone and sends a notification any time there’s movement.  This gets a bit annoying when it’s a cat, but I still think the system is excellent in case a robber decides to rob my place.