Saturday, October 22, 2005

Winterizing the house

The cold season is upon us. It’s time to turn on the heater and cough up more money for our gas and electric bills. I tried to delay this as long as I could by telling my family to wear warm clothes.

I read on the Internet that to save on utilities, we should set the thermostat level at 68 – 69 degrees Farenheit during the day when people are at home, and lower it to 63 – 64 degrees at night when people are sleeping. I’m not sure if I remember the numbers right. No matter, I sometimes set it a degree lower or higher, but never 70 or above.

Other people find our home too cool for comfort. My brother-in-law, who visited last year with my sister and mother from Seattle, suggested that I insulate the glass window and sliding door panels in the living room. That was the first time I became aware that there were ways to keep the heat in and the cold out other than revving up the thermostat.

I also noticed cold drafts of air coming into our house from the bottom of the front door. We covered the area with a floor rug until I found out in one of my trips to the hardware store that there was such a thing as a door sweep. Ours must have needed a replacement.

So this autumn, I’ve been going back and forth to Wal-Mart, Rona, Home Depot and Canadian Tire and learning how to winterize the house. I scrutinize the items that might serve my purpose, and spend a lot of time reading labels and installation instructions. I find this engrossing. In fact, when I brought Gabriel and Markus to the Fleetwood Recreation Centre two weeks ago, I visited Rona Home Centre across the street. Since when did I choose a hardware store over a water slide and Olympic-sized swimming pool?

Thus far we’ve done a few things in the house -- changed the furnace filter, vacuumed the floor vents, placed filters on these vents, changed the door sweep, attached weatherstrips on the front door and sliding door, and installed plastic insulation films on the glass window and glass doors on the main floor. I will finish the last panel tomorrow. I’m sure there’s more to do. Lots more.

I hope to finish everything by the end of October and start putting up our Christmas decors. This way, it wouldn’t seem so cold and dreary.

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