It may seem like a long way off, but the cooler days of fall and winter will be upon us before we know it. Rather than get stuck with higher heating bills (at least for those who suffered the awfully cold temperatures we had here in Toronto last year), there are a few things you can do to prepare your condo for the colder months—and save some cash in the process. Thought winterizing homes was only for detached houses? Here are four reasons to think again:
1. Trap the Heat
Having plenty of windows in a condo means bright, light-filled living spaces. But as the temperatures dip outside, all that glass can leach out a lot of your home’s heat, and let in the cold. If they haven’t been already, look for ways to weatherproof your windows from the inside and out. For example, look to your local hardware store for some easy-to-apply window insulation film, which coats the glass of your windows like a sticker and helps reduce heat transfer. Also, be sure to check the window edges or patio doors for any drafts or air that comes through, and be sure to seal them up.
2. Introduce a Rug or Two
Hardwood, laminate, and concrete floors are more popular finishing options for downtown Toronto condos these days, but those hard, dense surfaces can get pretty chilly, pretty fast. (Anyone who has woken up and put their bare feet to the floor without slippers can attest to this!) While carpets or rugs may not be part of your regular decor scheme, take the opportunity to switch things up in the fall, and add some much-needed floor insulation with a rug or two. The bonus: it can add new textures and colours, as well as update the entire look of the room.
3. Add a Touch of Humidity
Investing in a humidifier can not only improve the air quality in your home, it’ll also make your rooms feel slightly warmer, without the heater being cranked up to the max. This is good for one big reason: as the mercury dips, the air tends to get drier—a condition that’s only made worse with heaters, and which can affect both your lungs and your good wood furniture. Be sure to monitor the moisture though: too much can lead to damaging condensation on windows and drywall.
4. Think of the Freebies
You don’t necessarily have to spend money to save money; try to think of some low- or no-cost ways to get your condo ready for the cooler months. One is by setting any ceiling fans in your unit to spin clockwise, which pushes the warmer air that’s up closer to the ceiling down to the floor, making a room feel more comfortable. (This also works the opposite way in the summer.) Another is to make sure you keep any draped windows open during prime sunlight hours, to catch as much warm light as possible. The last is to simply heed your parent’s advice: any time you’re tempted to turn up the thermostat, try putting on a sweater instead.
Bonus tip: don’t forget to cover or bring in/store your good patio furniture! Nothing good comes from being stuck under snow or ice for months on end.