It’s turning out to be one of the coldest winters in Canada from coast to coast, which means for a lot of homeowners, dry rooms and chilly drafts.
And with a majority of us spending more time in our homes, experts say it is important to make sure our living spaces are well-equipped for weather conditions outdoors.
Terry Young, VP of Save on Energy at the Independent Electricity System Operator in Ontario, says for dry homes in particular, check the furnace.
“Some furnaces have small humidifiers built in with a humidistat. Similar to a thermostat, you can adjust the humidity in your home here.”
Below, Young shares tips on how to fix a dry and cold home.
Seal windows and doors
He adds that another reason why homes tend to get dry is because our windows and doors are not properly sealed. “Seal around windows and doors with weather stripping. Keeping the cold, dry air from outside will help with a dry home and make it feel more comfortable.”
There are also natural ways to keep your home humidified, he says. Get houseplants and make sure they are well watered, and invested in using a clothing rack to dry your clothes in the winter.
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“It may take a bit longer, but the moisture released will help with the dry air, and as a bonus, you’ll be saving on energy costs.”
Other sites suggest everything from leaving water-filled vases near windows and leaving the door open when you shower.
Invest in moisture
You can also purchase a humidifier (and they come in all types of sizes and prices) to add moisture back into the air.
Find the draft
One of the first things you should do in your home during the winter is inspect it for leaks, Young says. “To check for leaks, light a couple of incense sticks and walk around your home on a cold, windy day, close to outside windows and doors.”
This way, if there is any odd movement of smoke when you stand close to windows or doors, you can figure out where the draft is coming from.
In the long run, you may need to fully replace old and drafty windows and doors with new ones.
READ MORE: How to give your home an energy audit
Check your furnace filter
Often, a simple solution to a dry and cold home is to replace the furnace filter. “To determine if it’s too dirty, remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can no longer clearly see light, change the filter,” he continues.
Wrap your tank
“A blanket around your electric hot water tank can help save you anywhere from four to nine per cent on your water-heating costs,” Young says.
Close your curtains
It’s simple and effective: closing your curtains will keep warm air inside. “Opening them during the day allows the sun to heat up your house without costing you money.”