When it comes to the winter season, we all know it’s time to bundle up in extra sweaters, mitts and even toques! While we can bundle ourselves up to stay warm, do we have an option for bundling up our homes to keep extra heat in and keep the costs down?
Here are 10 ways you can stay warmer this winter season:
- Use timers on central heating – By using timers, you can ensure your home is nice and toasty for when you get home, but also manage the temperature when you’re gone to save on heating costs. It’s also recommended that you ensure all vents are unobstructed to allow proper airflow.
- Open and close curtains – Open up your curtains during the day for sunlight and close them at night for another layer of insulation. By opening the blinds during the day, you are allowing in the natural heat. When it gets dark, closing the curtains acts as an extra layer of insulation.
- Reverse the ceiling fans – Ceiling fans don’t need to collect dust over the winter! Most ceiling fans have a reverse spin to blow the hot air downwards.
- Add weather stripping to doors and windows – The edges of doors and windows are common spots for cold winter air to leak in. You will want to check all windows and doors and patch any cracks where air is getting in. Don’t forget to close up the cat/dog door for the winter too!
- Get a heat pump – Heat pumps are a great tool for heating your home in the winter time, or to cool it in the summertime. They work by transferring heat from one place to another. In winter, a heat pump turns energy from the outside air into heat in your home. The downfall to a heat pump is in temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius or lower, its abilities are limited.
- Cover the windows – A growing trend over the last few years is to add an extra layer of protection from the cold, especially if you have energy inefficient windows. There are many do-it-yourself kits (which are essentially double-sided tape and plastic wrap that can cover your window as an extra protection layer). Many DIY experts say that it works best with bubble wrap or a shower curtain, as they are thicker and keep out more of the chill.
- Check your furnace air filters – Having clean furnace air filters does wonders for your home. The main purpose of an air filter is to remove dust, hair and other debris from recirculating back into your home. When clogged with debris, an air filter can reduce airflow to the home. Eventually, if you don’t change the filter, it will reduce overall air quality in the home and the furnace itself will have to work harder. This reduces the lifespan of the unit, and if the furnace is working harder, energy use goes up and increases your bill.
- Add roof insulation – Insulation is one of the easiest ways to keep in heat over the winter. It is said most homes lose 25% of their heat through the roof! This is a huge amount of heat loss. Doing a quick inspection of your attic will tell you if there are any drafts or if it needs more insulation. Out of all the places your home loses heat, this an easy fix that can have a large impact!
- Install radiant heating – This is a new trend taking off with a lot of homeowners. With radiant heating, heating panels go underneath your flooring. There are 3 main types of systems that can be placed underneath many floor types, including tiles, hardwood, laminate and carpet. The most traditional type would be underneath tiles, as they are proven to be the conductor that provides the most heat in the shortest amount of time. If you like radiant flooring, then you might also like the radiant wall and ceiling panels, which are now available.
- Wrap the pipes – This is a simple but effective way to keep your pipes from freezing during the winter and a great way to save extra money on heating costs. The extra layer of protection keeps the hot water warmer throughout the system in your home and reduces your cost to heat the water in your pipes.
If you want to save money and be toasty this season, try implementing some of these best practices in your home!