We all know that winter is never easy in North America, especially for those who live in Canada.
If people spend hours outside in parks or on patios during summer, once winter comes, we are more likely to stay warm inside our home. Therefore, it is essential to be comfortable at home. There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning and feeling a cold breeze beneath our feet!
Two Enemies: Temperature and Humidity
Two factors significantly impact our comfort during winter: temperature and humidity. The “temperature” factor is an obvious one. If the heating or insulation of the home is not optimal, you will be cold. The humidity factor is trickier. The thermometer could be indicating a mild temperature, but the ambient humidity gives us the impression that the cold seeps deep into our bones. If the air is too humid, even with a lot of heating, you may be cold. Also, having too much humidity can cause problems with the growth of bacteria and mould.
On the other hand, your skin and sinuses will suffer if the air is too dry. Who hasn’t gotten a nosebleed without warning because the air was too dry at home? When the air is too dry, it can also lead to chapped lips and difficulty breathing.
In this article, you will discover some ways to ensure that your home is the most comfortable during winter. Along with tips to help regulate the temperature and humidity, you’ll also find some suggestions to keep cozy.
1. Good Insulation
This is the basic rule! A house or an apartment which is poorly insulated will never be comfortable and will cost a fortune to heat. Redoing the insulation is not always possible, especially if you are renting. But there are plenty of options to seal windows and doors, dryer air outlets, and reduce drafts.
To help you find the source of air infiltration in your home, walk around with a lighted candle or a feather. When the flame wobbles, you know you are near a cold air draft.
You can use weather strips and permanent or temporary seals. If a room is freezing, like the laundry room, close the door and install a cloth weather strip at the bottom of the door to prevent drafts. You can even make one yourself!
2. Use a Humidifier
With heating, the air gets drier and so do your sinuses! Thankfully, there are a wide variety of humidifiers to solve this issue. Consider buying a small humidifier that you can leave in your office or bedroom. Some can also diffuse essential oils, which will make your home even more comfortable for winter. This way, your room will smell nice without using incense or perfumes, which could make the ambient air even drier.
3. Add Plants
Some plants require a lot of humidity, but others can help to maintain a good level of humidity in the room. For example, ferns are an excellent choice for this. You only need to spray them with water regularly. Also, they will brighten your room and make you think of spring. Do not forget to change the location of your plants to optimize their natural lighting.
4. Install a Heat Pump
Heat pumps are the superheroes of extreme climates like the one in Canada. With hot and humid summers and freezing winters, it is not easy to maintain a comfortable home… unless you have a heat pump! In addition to making sure that you are cool in the summer and warm in the winter, a heat pump can significantly reduce your energy consumption bill.
A heat pump is like an air conditioning system, which can invert its cycle. During winter, rather than transforming hot air into cold, it absorbs the cold air from outside and releases hot air inside the home.
At first, it is a substantial investment, but the long-term savings on heating costs and the level of comfort that it offers are worth it! You can also receive a grant from Hydro Québec when you install an eligible heat pump.
5. Use Your Curtains Against the Cold
Curtains don’t just help you sleep in! During the day, open your curtains wide to let the sunlight in and heat the rooms of your home. The effect of the sun shining through the windows can increase the ambient temperature by a couple of degrees.
When night comes, close them to prevent heat from escaping. Thick curtains can be particularly effective in preventing energy loss.
6. Get in “Hygge” Mode
Hygge, a Scandinavian way of living, focuses on comfort and feeling warm in a cozy atmosphere while enjoying good company. Rather than fighting harsh winter conditions, the idea is to slow down and enjoy the present moment while spending an evening feeling warm and cozy.
To be more comfortable in winter, put on your coziest pyjamas and drink herbal teas, hot chocolate, and other comforting drinks, rather than raising the thermostat to the highest setting. It’s time to load up on soft, warm blankets that you can leave on the sofa or in front of your fireplace.
7. Change the Direction of Ceiling Fans
This may seem like a trivial point, but it is efficient! By changing the rotation direction of your ceiling fans, you will push the hot air down, which will warm up the room.
8. Use a Heating Pad or a Magic Bag
A grandmother’s tricks are efficient! This is especially the case when using a heating pad or a magic bag to warm up your bed, and even your office chair if you work from home.
The winter season can be difficult for some people. However, it’s the perfect time to slow down and take better care of yourself and your loved ones. Use our tips and tricks to make your home more comfortable for winter!