There’s no doubt about it: Winnipeg winters can be extremely cold. And when it’s -40 with the wind chill outside, it can make you feel like the only way to handle the cold is to stay indoors, crank up the heat, and hunker down.
This way of living, however, is a sure-fire way to use up a whole lot of energy. And that can amount to a hefty price to pay in energy bills!
1) Keep your curtains open during the day, and draw them closed at night.
This is a fairly simple step, but it can have a big impact. Many downtown Winnipeg condos feature big, beautiful windows, which have the benefit of showering your condo in plenty of light during the day, but also have the drawback of making it that much easier for the cold to creep into your living space. By opening your curtains during the day, you will get the heat of the sun coming through to warm your home; conversely, by closing your curtains at night, you will create a barrier between yourself and the cold outdoors. And if you’re feeling a little chilly when you stand near your window, you can also prevent drafts by purchasing special plastic to put up on your windows to help insulate them even more.
2) Lower the thermostat and cozy up under blankets.
Embrace sweater season! While you’re at home, turn down the heat and throw on an extra sweater – or make use of that warm blanket you received as a holiday gift – to save a lot of energy. Lighting candles can also generate a great deal of heat (but remember to blow them out when you leave home!). While you are at the office or otherwise out of the house for the day, turn down the heaters even more to conserve energy that you aren’t around to appreciate anyways.
The type of heaters you have in your downtown Winnipeg condo can make a difference, too: radiators are a better use of energy than baseboard heaters, which are a better use of energy than portable heaters.
3) Do some chores and stay active.
If you’re stuck inside because it’s just too cold to leave the home, why not get some chores done? Vacuuming, washing the dishes, scrubbing the bath tub, or dusting will all get you moving and keep you warm! You can save energy, get the house work completed, and stay warm all at once. Using the stove or oven for cooking can also heat up most (if not all!) of your home, especially if you’re living in a smaller condo with fewer rooms, without the need of turning on your heaters.
What will you do this winter to save energy in your downtown Winnipeg condo?
Sagan Morrow owns an open-concept condo in Winnipeg’s Exchange District and loves downtown living. She writes the blog Living Healthy in the Real World, is the Executive Director of the Food Label Movement, and is the Development Coordinator for Food Matters Manitoba. Sagan is a freelance writer and editor as well as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and can be found at www.livinginthrealworld.net. She enjoys taking in the theatre and culture of downtown Winnipeg during her spare time.