Winter is Coming: 5 Easy Ways to Prepare Your Home (While Saving Money)

October 5, 2017

While fall means the arrival of the often-celebrate, often-mocked PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte, if you’re of a certain age), it also means it’s time for many Canadians to start the yearly ritual of ensuring their home is prepped for the plunging temperatures to come.

That’s right.

Winter is coming.

To get you in the winter spirit (or not), let’s take a look at five easy ways to winterize your home.

1. Furnace comes first! Before you start blasting that beautiful warm air through your halls, take a look at your furnace. You’ll probably want to clean or change the filters before putting them through the heating season (and you’ll probably need to check them out every month, just to keep ‘em in tip top shape).

  • Money saver: Dirty filters have to work harder, which can up your hydro bill. Clean filters will save you money every month.

2. Put away your patio furniture. This one’s a no-brainer, but easy to forget when the last thing on your mind is lounging outside in the frigid cold. Make sure all your patio furniture is dry before it goes into storage: Wet fabrics can harbour mildew.

  • Money saver: If you’ve properly stored away your patio set, next spring you won’t need to drop more cash on another one – and you’ll be ready before the neighbours for barbeques.

3. Run your ceiling fans in reverse. Most fans have a switch on the side to change the direction that your blades spin. During summer, counterclockwise air moves down, and makes you cooler. But in the winter, warm air pumping through the house rises, while cooler air hangs around lower down. So, you want to turn your fan to run clockwise and drag that cool air up, thus forcing the warm air down to you.

  • Money saver: Your thermostat will register the warmer air when it’s low, so you can turn down your temperature.

4. Seal your windows and doors. Caulk any cracks in your windows, and check out an inexpensive rubber seal for your doors (bottom and sides). Sealing windows and doors is easy; you can do it without a professional.

  • Money saver: Drafts coming in through cracks and gaps will make your house colder, not to mention the warm air that could potentially be blowing out of your home. Sealing it up keeps the warm air in and the cold air out, so you don’t have to turn up your thermostat.

5. Lower your thermostat. This one sounds counterintuitive – who wants a cold winter home? But science says people sleep more soundly in cool temperatures; besides, you can always cover up with more blankets (or flannel pajamas…). So, lower the temps at night (and when you’re away).

  • Money saver: The less your heating system is running, the more money you’re keeping in your pocket.

Additional ways to keep warm and rich this winter include using your blinds to your advantage – sunlight streaming in is still warm even in the winter, make use of your fireplace, and put on a sweater. Might as well don of all that winter gear.

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