Money saving tips for the winter freeze
As you prepare your home for winter, it’s important to take care of any damage that may get worse in the colder weather, inspect and/or repair critical appliances and structures like your furnace, roof, gutters and chimney, and ensure summer furniture and toys are safely packed away.
Winter bills can add up, so here are a few low cost solutions to keep you and your wallet happy.
- Check caulking around windows and weather stripping around doors. If either is dry and cracked, replace them while the weather is still nice to avoid heat loss.
- Drafts can happen in places that may be less obvious to you, so check baseboards, attics and crawl spaces as well. An easy way to spot a draft is to have a tea candle handy and watch if the flame flickers. If insulation is not in your budget yet, simply sealing the exits can make a big impact.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat to lower your home temperature while you sleep and when you are away from your home during the day. A manual thermostat works too if you can get into the habit.
- It’s even better if you can control the temperature by room or area of the house. If you’re not spending much time in the dining room or the guest bedroom, keep the doors closed and the temperature low.
- Adjust the water heater temperature by a few degrees. Most are set to 60°C as a default, but in most cases can be safely dropped to 54°C, according to the Canada Safety Council. Before you do so, however, check and follow your local building and plumbing codes for precise numbers as they may vary. Dropping the temperature below what the codes specify is not recommended as it can lead to bacterial growth in the tank with the potential to produce adverse health effects.
- Switch ceiling fans to run clockwise on low speed so the warm air that rises is pushed back down.
- When cooking, use the heat from your oven for an extra boost of warmth. When you’ve finished, just keep the oven door open and let the heat flow out.
- Avoid using exhaust fans in the bathroom. Instead, as with the oven, keep the door open after you shower to let the warm air escape.
- Bring out the wool blankets, sweaters and socks. The ultimate low-cost solution to keeping warm is to bundle up in cozy clothing. Warm, breathable socks and slippers are especially effective at keeping your core temperature steady.
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