Beyond sorting through old belongings in the garage, or finally giving those hard-to-reach spaces behind the heavy furniture a good scrub, there are other ways to refresh your home this spring that can not only benefit your quality of living, but also put money back in your pocket.
Save a Pretty Penny by Becoming Pretty Savvy
The average energy cost per household in Ontario can be well over $2,000 per year. Toronto in particular experiences fairly dramatic winters and summers, making heating and air conditioning bills in the Queen City especially high.
So while you’re out there mowing the lawn this spring, here are some simple measures you can take to give that heating and air conditioning bill a good clipping as well:
1. Open Up (Or Not)
With increasingly warmer days and nights that retain a distinct winter chill, springtime offers a great natural resource. Before you wake up that air conditioner, try leaving your windows open at night, letting in the cool Lake Ontario air. During the day, open window shades to use the natural heating power of the sun, or keep them closed to block it out.
2. Let it Flow
Compared to the impressive and ever-improving technology available in heating and air conditioning, the humble household fan may seem meek. However, the fan can be useful in not only maintaining desired temperatures, but directing them.
Hot air rises, often making upper floors unbearable. Strategically placed fans, particularly ceiling fans, work well in dispensing sweltering air trapped in the topmost eaves. Portable fans can also be used to create a refreshing flow throughout the home or push out undesired heat.
3. Test Your Limits
Take the opportunity of the changing seasons to challenge yourself. When you find you must use your heating or air conditioning system, start by setting it a few degrees hotter or cooler than you think you can stand. Just a ten degree difference can make a great impact on your bill. If you find yourself faltering, bundle up or lose some layers rather than mess with the dial. If you stick to this, you may find that though the summer has grown hotter or the winter harsher, your tolerance for this change in temperature has increased.
4. Spring Cleaning: Not Just for Your Attic
As you’re dusting and mopping your way to household bliss, don’t forget some of your most important assets! Give your heating and air conditioning systems some love. Just like anything in your home, these systems run best when clean and up to date on maintenance. Install fresh filters, call for a routine maintenance check, and ensure that all vents and fans are clear of dust and debris.
5. Assess and Address
Call to have your HVAC systems surveyed. This involves checking for energy leaks into and out of your home, and examining systems that may be in need of maintenance or repair. You may consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat that can automatically turn down the heat while you’re away, or updating your entire system to one that is more energy efficient.
Insulation is the key to enjoying your heating and air conditioning systems fully. If your home assessment turned up some sneaky leaks, you can address these fairly easily by blocking window cracks and drafts with new weatherstripping. Make sure windows and doors are properly adjusted so that they are closing to their full potential, and ensure holes around pipes are properly sealed. Is there a draft coming from a particular part of your house? Consider whether the insulation in that particular area is sufficiently installed.
Reign in a Fresh Season of Heating and Air Conditioning Bliss
Congratulations Toronto, if you’ve followed these steps you’re well on your way to kicking off this spring with a glowing heating and air conditioning bill!