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Don’t let your home turn into a sauna or an icebox

I always thought that decorating seasonally was a bit of a foolish idea.

I always thought that decorating seasonally was a bit of a foolish idea.



But not after this horribly hot summer I’ve experienced in southwestern Ontario. No longer can we rely on the weather patterns that we had as kids.



Remember when it was always super-hot in July and dead cold in January (with somewhat easy temperatures in between)?



I’ve given up depending on the weatherman and now am decorating for all four seasons.



We must be ready for temperature changes at any given time. Here’s a few decor ideas what will do you good at a moment’s notice, no matter where you live.



Get good blinds

Choose a pale colour cellular window dressing to reflect heat away from the house in the summer months and help to keep the cool air inside.



During the cooler weather they will act as insulation to help keep the heat in.



During the two extreme seasons you’ll also save money on heat loss.



Use a thermostat programmer

Program your thermostat to turn on the air conditioning only during times when you will be home.



Keep in mind that for each degree you turn the thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter you will save $100 on your heating/cooling bill.



Control your sweat

Washing and drying clothes, showering and cooking all increase humidity inside your home.



If these cannot be avoided, turn on a ventilating fan or dehumidifier to help extract warm, moist air and run the dishwasher and dryer during the nighttime, which is usually the coolest time.



Service your AC unit

Be sure to tune up your air conditioning unit and clean your ducts every spring to ensure they are working efficiently.



You know if you don’t, chances are your unit will stop working on the hottest or coldest day just to get you back.



Breathe easy

Clean your furnace/air filter once a month. Blowing cold air is no different that blowing hot air and the filter can get just as dirty.



Decorating choices for the multi climates

Close the curtains or shades on any south- or west-facing windows and you’ll save two to four per cent on cooling costs.



If available, turn on ceiling and table fans.



A fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about four degrees and still feel cool.



Make sure ceiling fans are turning in a counterclockwise direction (you should feel a cool breeze standing directly under the fan).



Only use the fan while you’re in the room because these cool people, not places.



Cook with the microwave oven instead of the regular oven or grill outdoors.



Better yet, eat out or go to your mama’s.



Installing compact fluorescent lights in high-use fixtures saves about 66 per cent on lighting costs — these also lower the heat the bulbs put out.

 
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