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Prepare your house for winter


Winterizing your house can not only keep you cozy in the chilly weather, but can also save energy and money.

There’s no use denying it: winter is coming.

This is the time of year when we switch from iced coffees to lattes, rush to the store to buy new stylish boots, and maybe even invest in snow tires—but what are we doing to keep our houses warm? Winterizing your house can not only keep you cozy in the chilly weather, but can also save energy and money.

If you live in Canada, you may even be eligible for an ecoENERGY Retrofit grant, which rewards people for making their homes more energy efficient.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Consider investing in a new fireplace
Nothing’s cozier than curling up by the fireplace with a hot drink, but older wood-burning fireplaces are less efficient than new ones, so consider upgrading to an eco-friendly newer model.

Weather-strip, insulate, and seal openings
Don’t let heat escape through cracks in the attic, basement, pipes and ducts, patio doors, or anywhere else. You can easily seal any openings yourself as a DIY project–just visit your local hardware store to stock up on supplies for insulation and caulking.

If you’re not sure how to find air leaks, Natural Resources Canada suggests this simple test: simply hold a thin piece of plastic or tissue near an opening in your house on a windy day. If it flutters, you’ll know that air can get in and out, and it should be sealed. Alternatively, you can hold up a lit match or incense stick to watch where the smoke flows.

Don’t forget about windows
Remember than caulking occasionally needs to be replaced, so do an annual check of your windows. Also, consider installing storm windows, which prevent air leaks.

Following these tips means you don’t have to turn up the heat as much, you can lose the second pair of socks, and you can feel good about your slightly smaller carbon footprint.



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Raise a glass and say cheers to not-so-hard drinks

Matthew Kadey, MSc, RDMatthew Kadey, MSc, RD