In the past few weeks, we’ve had record-breaking temperatures across Canada, which started this winter off on a particularly cold note. With temperatures plunging into the negative double-digits, everyone has been looking for a way to stay warm this winter — this means a lot of time spent indoors. Here are a few simple energy-saving tips you should keep in mind for keeping your home cozy in the wintertime.

Bundle up
Consider putting on a sweater and socks at home and turning down the thermostat a couple of degrees. This doesn’t mean that you have to freeze, but a small reduction in heating can save energy and money. You can also reduce temperatures at night (cooler temperatures can actually help you get a good night’s rest). If you’re worried about it getting chilly, add an extra blanket to your bed.

Photo credit: Lisa Clarke

Insulation
Good insulation in your home is very important to prevent heat from leaking out and cold air from seeping in. A lot of heat escapes through doors and windows, so check to see if you have any drafts in the house. You can do this by either holding up a tissue or a match along the seams of a window or a door. If you identify a draft, there are a number of ways to seal it. For windows, this may mean using rubber strips, caulking, or insulation plastic wrap. For doors, you could make a draft excluder, also known as a draft stopper or a draft snake, which you would place at the bottom of a door. You can make one yourself from recycled materials such as old clothes.

Photo credit: Evak

Air vents
Are there rooms in your house that you don’t use as much? If you have a guest bedroom or rec room that stays empty most of the time, try closing off the heating vents to redistribute the heat to other parts of the house. Also, make sure that the air vents in the rooms that you do use aren’t blocked off by furniture in any way.

Photo credit: CORGI HomePlan

Natural light
Take advantage of the precious daylight hours during the winter by opening up your curtains and blinds to let in the light. This will help warm your home while you’re away during the day. Close them when you get home, to provide another layer of insulation against the cold seeping through the windows. The thicker the curtains, the better.

 

These are just a few easy energy-saving tricks you can try at home. What are some other ways that you could make your home more energy efficient in the winter? Can you apply some of these ideas in your classroom?

Learn more:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-hydro-energy-bill-saving-tips-1.4397906

https://www.directenergy.com/learning-center/energy-efficiency/energy-efficiency-tips-winter

https://energy.gov/energysaver/fall-and-winter-energy-saving-tips

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/jan/05/how-to-make-draught-excluder