Baby, it’s cold outside. Which means your likely reaction is to stay indoors and turn up the heat. But what is all that extra energy costing you? Everyone knows that home heating bills go up as the temperatures go down. Wouldn’t you rather spend your hard earned dollars on something fun, like Christmas presents, than on inefficiently heating your home?
These quick tips and tricks will help you keep the heat where you want it so you can keep the money where it belongs – in your wallet!
Insulation Is Key
Any outdoor enthusiast will tell you the quickest way to warm your body is to layer up and stay that way, so it makes sense that the same general principle would apply to your house. The textiles you use during spring and summer are too flimsy trap heat, so change out those lighter weight curtains, sheets and throws to thicker fabrics that will insulate windows and retain that much coveted heat.
That being said, never underestimate the power of that tacky plastic trim – windows account for about 25 per cent of the heat loss in our homes, and covering your windows and doors with clear plastic film can significantly reduce that. This film is relatively inexpensive, and, in fact, you can pick up a few kits at the dollar store. Follow the simple instructions to install, and remove it easily come spring.
Let The Sun Shine In
Solar power is incredible, and the sun can do wonders for heating your home during winter. Open your south-facing curtains at sunrise and take advantage of that natural heat source. Remember to close the curtains as soon as the sun dips to trap that heat.
Put Ceiling Fans On Reverse
A lot of homeowners wonder why their ceiling fans come equipped with a reverse feature, and we’re about to let you in on the secret. In science class you learned that hot air rises, but what good is it doing way up there? Force it back down to where you need it most by reversing your ceiling fan – it effectively distributes warm air back down the walls to mix with the rest of the room, gradually raising the ambient temperature.
Replace Worn Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping serves a useful purpose but that worn and torn stuff has reached the end of its lifespan, creating a draught that makes it harder for your heating system to be efficient. Replace damaged weather stripping to negate that 12 per cent of home heat loss caused by leaky windows and doors.
Plug Up Draughts Around Electrical Outlets
Even a properly insulated exterior wall may let a little cold air in around electrical boxes, which often aren’t insulated or are insulated poorly. Stop leaks by filling the gaps around the box with caulk or foam sealant, and place a goam gasket over the outlet or switch before replacing the cover plate.
Install A Learning Thermostat
If there was ever a time to jump on the smart home bandwagon, now would be it. Learning thermostats, like Nest, are quickly growing in popularity because of their ease of use, convenience, and their ability to save you money. Set it and forget it has never been so wonderful, since these miraculous little devices pay attention to your favourite temperatures when you’re home and when you’re out, and adjust accordingly.