1) Don’t Be Afraid of The Thermostat!
Your house plants don't care that interior temperature of your house is twenty degrees while you’re at work all day, nor do the pets. Why not program your thermostat to seventeen degrees and have it warm up to twenty degrees half an hour before you usually come home? The same can be done over night. Your furnace will run less and you’ll burn much less fuel. Setting your thermostat only takes as much time as getting a sweater and each day can be programmed separately. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, there is a wide range of options at various price points and Ben gives their installation a “3/10 screwdrivers” on the difficulty scale (he’s not the most handy guy so you’ll be fine).
2) Mind the Gaps!
Okay everyone, it’s confession time. One of our exterior doors has worse gaps than Ben’s teeth before braces. We’ve known this since moving into vanRahan Acres in the summer of 2017, yet the gaps remain. Adding weatherstripping around a door frame is usually quick, easy, and inexpensive (another 3/10 screwdrivers). We promise to remedy this situation ASAP, will you? A twenty dollar bill will slide easily between an exterior door and a frame without proper weatherstripping, and that’s essentially what’s happening when you don’t attend to this simple fix.
3) Fireplaces Can Be Sneaky!
Fireplaces and wood burning stoves provide a wonderful coziness in the depths of winter, and can be an economical way to reduce your heating bill. However, these appliances can do more harm than good if not used correctly. All home heating systems are a complex balance and maintaining this for peak efficiency isn’t always easy when working with more than one heat source. When using your wood burning appliance, some warm air escapes up the chimney, which can actually cool certain areas of the home. Therefore, to avoid inadvertently making the furnace work harder, turn down the thermostat a few degrees (yes, thus disregarding adherence to point one of this list). Secondly, when not in use, close the damper and the flue (if there is one) to stop cold air from entering via the chimney. Finally, if your fireplace is lined with thermal bricks, replace any that have degraded or broken. This is a simple maintenance ritual that will keep your fireplace running at peak efficiency.
4) Turn Those Fans Around and That Frown Upside Down!
Warm air from your vents and fireplaces will rise to the ceiling while cold air dwells at floor level, where our pour shivering feet reside. You need to redistribute the air and a simple and effective way to do that is to put ceiling fans on reverse (clockwise) and at a low setting. This will break the heat bubble hovering at the ceiling and push warm air downwards where it’s needed. This is especially important in homes with vaulted ceilings. Local hardware stores have a number of high efficiency options that will quickly change a cold frown to a warm grin. Installing a ceiling fan where a fixture already exists and is a 5/10 screwdrivers on Ben’s not so handy man scale of home fixitablity.
We hope that these simple and effective tips keep you warmer this year, and with more money in your pocket. Let us know if you have any favourite tips for saving on heating costs during the winter. And as always, feel free to get in touch with Team vanRahan anytime with any real estate questions.