Keeping Warm on a Budget

Heating a home can be expensive and not everyone lives in one that is 100% efficient.   Below are a few tips to help save money in the colder months ahead.

  1. Consider installing a programmable thermostat. It will turn the heat up before you wake, turn the heat down when you leave home and back up when you return – automatically.
  2. Consider setting your programmable thermostat a couple of degrees cooler in the winter. You can save as much as two per cent on your energy bill for every degree Celsius you adjust on your thermostat.
  3. Close registers or vents for forced air systems in rooms that are not being used so you’re not wasting heat.   Close the door to these rooms as-well.
  4. Keep your curtains and blinds open during winter days and closed at night. This helps to heat your home on cold days & reduces energy used by your furnace.
  5. It is important to keep your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted with annual maintenance. Furnaces working at peak efficiency use less energy and are less costly to run. You should also clean or replace the filter every 1-2 months – dirty filters reduce airflow, causing the furnace to take longer to heat your home.
  6. Reverse that ceiling fan.   By reversing its direction from the summer operation, the fan will push warm air downward and force it to re-circulate, keeping you more comfortable.   Here’s how you know the fan is ready for winter: As you look up, the blades should be turning clockwise.
  7. Another trick is to have a large scatter rug on the floor if you don’t already have carpeting.
  8. If modern windows are too expensive an option, a more affordable and temporary solution is to buy a Window Insulator Kit.   It’s plastic sheeting that’s affixed to a window’s interior with double-stick tape.  A hair dryer is then used to shrink-wrap the sheeting onto the window (It can be removed in the spring).  Stores like Canadian Tire sell these kits and there are several brands.   It can be an effective solution despite its “un-pretty” look.
  9. Also inspect the caulking around the exterior windows and doors of your house.
  10. Be active. Moving around produces body heat! The more you are active, the better your blood circulation will be. This will mean that hot blood gets to your fingers and toes, keeping them warm.

Remember to always practice safety whenever making any changes to your home.  If unsure of something or too strenuous, then find someone to help.

And finally, wear warm clothes such as a sweater, thick socks or layers.   Don’t forget to make a hot drink to warm up your core temperature – a simple and fast way to help relax and keep warm.

A Community News blog post

West Toronto Support Services writes articles about events and news in the community that closely align with our agencies mission of living independently and promoting your health & wellness.   Articles posted under community news don’t necessarily mean we directly endorse them – they are articles of interest that you can pursue further.   We believe a healthy community is a diverse and connected community!

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