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Try this new trend in home heating
(NC) Why are more and more Ontarians with electric heating turning to heat pumps? Because they are one of the most economical ways to heat and cool a home.
During the summer months, heat pumps cool your home efficiently by removing warm air and transferring it outside. They also act as dehumidifiers, removing moisture from the air indoors.
This cycle is reversed during the winter months, as the pumps pull heat from outside and transfer it indoors, giving you energy-efficient home heating.
Some of the benefits of an air-source heat pump include:
If your electric heating is more than 10 years old or in need of repair, you may want to consider switching to an air-source heat pump.
Homeowners or small businesses with electricity as a primary heating source could qualify for IESO rebates up to $4,000 to switch to an air-source heat pump. Having one will help you feel comfortable in your home all year round.
Keeping your house fresh during winter
(NC) Winter is right around the corner, and the change in weather can really take a toll on your home, both inside and out.. Snow and rock salt are tracked inside, the fireplace is circulating ashes, the heat's running constantly, and with no open windows, all that dust is just hovering around. Here, Jackie Glass, designer and Cityline guest expert, shares her tips on how to keep your house looking and feeling fresh during the winter months.
Keep it clean. As an interior designer, Glass is always looking for quick and easy ways to clean the house, especially hardwood floors. This is even more important during the winter, as her three dogs make it hard to keep the snow outside. “I love a product like Swiffer WetJet because it's safe on finished hardwood floors and dries quickly,” she says. “I use it in my personal and professional life every day. Whether I'm styling for a photo shoot, or running after my furry friends, it's indispensable to me. The ease of use is especially important.”
Let there be light — and fresh air. Winter isn't everyone's favourite time of year, and the darkness and cool weather can really dull down the home. On days when the sun is shining, Glass likes to open her windows and let the air flow through the house for half an hour. This helps brighten the space and get rid of any stuffiness or smell. It's the perfect way to give your home a quick refresh without making it too cool.
Say goodbye to dust bunnies. Dust bunnies and ceiling cobwebs announce that a good cleaning is long overdue. “I like to set aside 15 minutes a week to dust around the house,” says Glass. “To clean surfaces, I use my Swiffer Duster. It's easy to use and effectively traps dust, which makes everything look and feel fresh.” She also likes to give light fixtures a good cleaning. Dust easily collects on them during the winter, and can make indoor lights look dingy. A good cleaning will make a big difference in brightening things up.
Find more tips online at www.somedaystartstoday.ca.
Keep warm this winter with a well-insulated attic
(NC) The key to a more comfortable, affordable home could be your attic. That's because homes built more than a few years ago may not have enough attic insulation. Not only have building codes changed, but insulation in this space tends to compress and become less effective over the years.
“If your heating bill seems high, check your attic,” advises Jamal Hamad, director of pro tool rental and installation services at The Home Depot Canada. “Topping up your insulation in this space could be just what you need. Plus, it's one of the most accessible areas of your home for adding insulation.”
Insulation is measured by R-value. If you find the R-value of your attic insulation is too low, you can choose to add more yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. “This is a DIY-friendly project for anyone who doesn't mind rolling up their sleeves,” says Jamal. “You can add blown-in or loose-fill insulation on top of what's already there.”
Handy homeowners will need to rent a blowing machine to complete the project. At The Home Depot, the machine rental is complimentary when purchasing insulation.
Professional help is also available. You can bring in your own trusted pro to complete the work, or ask about installation services when you purchase your insulation.
No matter how you approach the project, having the right amount of insulation will create a more comfortable, consistent indoor climate and significantly improve your home's energy efficiency.
Clever tips to organize a small kitchen
(NC) With over 80 per cent of Canadians living in an urban area, it's not surprising that the micro-condo is a growing trend. But there is a big difference between a small living space and a smart small living space. Here are some tips on how best to organize a tiny kitchen.
Use forgotten areas. For example, the side of your lower cabinets is the perfect spot to hang heavy, clunky items that are annoying to store — like colanders or cutting boards.
Hide kitchen staples. Paper towel is a kitchen essential, but it doesn't have to take up precious real estate on the counter. Fit a sleek paper towel holder to the inside of a cabinet door to give paper towel rolls a new, hidden home.
Pick small appliances. Small is the new big, so opt for appliances that will suit everyday needs. For example, the slender and stylish Keurig K35 coffee maker is a must-have that will deliver on optimizing small counters without compromising on quality coffee.
Use containers for everything. Containers should be a top-of-mind item when maximizing a limited area. Keeping food basics such as flour, pasta or nuts in various size containers will help save on space and organize a small pantry.
3 ways to reduce waste at home
(NC) No matter the time of year, keeping waste to a minimum is essential. And with global warming a very real threat to current and future generations, it's a smart idea to limit your landfill contributions. Here are some tips to get started:
Litter-less lunch. School is back in session and you are back to a regular routine. Whether you're packing lunch for the kids or to take to the office, you can reduce waste by saying goodbye to plastic wrap and bags and investing in reusable containers and totes. Make meal prep even easier by transferring dinner leftovers right into your lunch containers and you'll be all set for the morning.
Second-hand love. This time of year we're usually shuffling clothing from our closets to storage. Before you pack up last season, take the time to sort through clothing and donate gently used pieces your family has outgrown, giving your items a second life and saving storage space.
But don't stop at clothing — think seasonal décor, too. More than half of Ontarians look for used, recycled or reclaimed items when considering home furnishings. While dropping off donations, be sure to pop in and look around as you may find the perfect item for yourself.
Tire transfer. It's time to check if you need to switch out your summer tires and consider whether last year's winter tires will help keep your family safe on the road for another season. If the tread is less than half a penny in depth, it may be time for new wheels.
By recycling your tires through the Ontario Tire Stewardship's used tires program, your family is helping transform your treads into sustainable boot trays, mats, planters, gym floors and much more. In fact, this year Ontario has just recycled its 100 millionth tire, keeping them out of landfills and helping create a variety of sustainable products.
Find more information online at rethinktires.ca.