Once the holidays are over, winter can feel unbearably long, especially for those who don’t enjoy the cold. Natural Resources Canada conducted research on Canadian energy habits and found that space heating accounts for 61 per cent of total home energy use. While this is understandable for those striving to stay warm, it also points to some energy savings opportunities. Among them is following the recommended temperatures to set your house to: no more than 20 degrees during the day and 17 degrees at night. However, as additional ways to keep your spirits up and your body warm, we’ve listed some unconventional warm and fuzzy energy saving tips to consider.
1. Layer up.
Get in touch with your inner fashionista and add some layers to your outfit. Step one: put a sweater on, accessorize with fun and fuzzy hats and scarves, and slide on some slippers. Step two: lap up the compliments.
2. Pick up some soft skills.
Add a rug or carpet to the rooms in your house where you spend the most time. For your windows, consider adding curtains. Each of these things will provide an extra layer of insulation to keep your living space cozy. Bonus: “Soft” materials also help to absorb sound, contributing to a quieter home.
3. Soak up the sun.
Once you have those curtains installed, remember to open them up when the sun is out – especially on your south-facing windows. Not only will you be getting some free vitamin D in the midst of a long, dark winter, you’ll also be getting some free, natural heat.
4. Put a blanket on it.
Add some layers to your bed with an extra throw or two. Also keep blankets handy for all your living and entertainment spaces. There’s nothing like curling up in a nest of blankets.
5. Cuddle up.
Whether it’s with your significant other, your child or your favourite furry friend, cuddling up is a great way to warm not only your body but your heart too.
6. It’s time to strip. Weather-strip, that is.
Door openings are often the culprits for heat loss – even when they’re closed. Help keep your heat inside by installing weather-stripping along the perimeter of your door opening.
7. Vent about it.
For all the rooms where you spend the most time, make sure that none of the vents are blocked by couches, furniture, etc., so that heat can properly be dispersed. For rooms you don’t use, or uninsulated areas (like a garage), make sure vents are closed. If your home is heated with baseboard heaters, be sure to wipe them down regularly. Dust and dirt on baseboards can prevent heat from circulating the room.
8. Say hello to humidity.
Winter time is a super dry time, and that doesn’t help with feeling cold either. To help make your home feel more comfortable, try using a humidifier. The added moisture can make a surprising difference to how the temperature of a space feels even when you turn your thermostat down.
9. Take a quick shower.
For those moments that you’re feeling chilled to the bone, sometimes a hot shower is just what you need. Yes, this ultimately does use some energy (water heating accounts for 19 per cent of energy usage in the average Canadian home), but if you can keep your shower short (i.e. less than five minutes), you will keep the amount of water you need to heat to a minimum. (For those who have an on-demand hot water tank, you’ll only be paying for what you use.). Don’t forget to keep a big towel and a fluffy bath robe on hand to keep warm once you get out.
Feeling adventurous? We also suggest taking a cold shower! We know it’s unconventional, but your house will feel warm afterwards, and it’s energy-free.
10. Lastly, get your groove on.
Feeling uncomfortably chilly? It’s time to turn up the beat. Whether you keep it simple with some jumping jacks or decide to go all out and get your groove on, you’re sure to warm up within minutes. The best part? You’ll be warm and you’ll be a few steps closer to your New Year’s resolution to stay fit.
May these tips warm your heart and spark a newfound joy for this season as you discover new ways to find comfort in the cold.