As the winter weather settles in across Canada, more people are turning up the heat to keep warm inside their homes. Homeowners are cranking those thermostats, stoking the fire, and plugging in space heaters as the temperatures outside continue to drop. But what most don’t realize is the fact that no matter how you choose to heat your home during the cold months, this change may affect your insurance costs. Keep reading to learn more about how central heating affects your home insurance policy and get some great tips for winter home heating safety.
How Does Home Heating Affect Insurance Rates?
In Canada, there are 6 common ways that you can heat your home. These include:
- Heat Pumps
- Wood or Pellet Stove
- Electric baseboard or space heaters
- Wood burning or gas fireplace
Each of these options has a set of pros and cons and what may work for one home, doesn’t always work best in another. Typically, Canadian homes rely on a furnace, boilers or heat pumps as a primary source of heat. As a secondary source of heat for smaller spaces, it’s common to use a wood or pellet stove, wood burning or gas fireplace and electric baseboard heating or a space heater.
Why are insurance rates affected by your heating source? Well, depending on the type of heating used in your home, you could increase your risk of fire and therefore become a greater risk to your insurance provider as well. For example, if you use an oil-based heating system, there is a greater chance that you may experience an oil leak. This type of incident can be dangerous in many ways and is costly to clean up properly. Most home insurance providers would consider this type of heating to be a greater risk and may charge you more if this is your primary heating source.
Alternatively, central heating is an affordable alternative to electric baseboard heating and relatively safe in terms of fire risk or other common home heating disasters. However, to work properly and prevent rising gas bills, regular central heating maintenance is necessary. A heating system that has been neglected must work much harder to heat your home. But if you work with a trusted heating and cooling technician and keep regular maintenance appointments, you are likely to enjoy increased comfort, better air quality, an extended equipment lifespan, and reduced home insurance rates.
Central Heating Care Tips
Before the first winter storm hits, test the system to make sure it’s working. If you don’t feel warm air coming in through the vents, contact a professional heating and cooling technician as soon as possible.
- Always check the pilot light before turning the heat on if you have a natural gas system in place. The flame should be a clear blue color. If the flame is orange or yellow, there could be an issue that needs to be addressed before using your heating.
- Change your furnace filters regularly. Pay close attention to the instructions outlined on the filters you purchase and change accordingly.
- Keep curtains, blankets, furniture, and plants away from heater vents to prevent fire and allow for proper airflow.
With a few simple safety and maintenance steps, you can keep your home warm all winter long and avoid climbing home insurance premiums. If you are interested in learning more about winter fire safety and the benefits of investing in a comprehensive home insurance policy, be sure to reach out to us at 1.844.929.4768 or contact us for more information.