Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – First Snow Energy Saving Tips for the Winter

CFN – We have had our first sighting of snowflakes in the past week.  This early sighting is a gentle reminder to prepare for the cold autumn and winter weather ahead.   With this in mind, the timing is perfect to share some valuable, economical, easy to use tools we can all put to use in our respective living and working environments.

Seal up any obvious cracks around doorways, window sills and power outlets.

You will easily notice drafts present in these areas by simply running your open palm close to these areas.  The presence of cold air will indicate the areas that will benefit from some caulking.  Caulking is a nominal cost item, which anybody can apply to increase the comfort of their home with a minimal investment of money and time. As it is suggested that exterior caulking be installed on warm, dry days; this is a project that one might consider to highlight on their “to do” list and accomplish sooner rather than later.  Here is a “caulking” video to help you along with your outdoor window sealing project.

The following is a great little video on installing insulating materials under your electrical outlet plates.


Close those curtains when the sun goes down.

With a little attention we can help to keep our spaces warm and comfortable by opening the curtains that allow the sun in during the day and closing them daily to ward off the cool air after sunset.  This simple step can provide savings and create increased comfort and savings.

Put some weather stripping around those doors.


This is something that requires checking each year.  I have personally found that our high traffic doors require some insulation replaced each second year.  Again, a simple verification with the open palm around your doorways after the sun has gone done will indicate areas which require your immediate attention.  Weather stripping and door sweepers (the item that normally fits on the bottom of the door close to the floor) can be found at your local hardware store.  If the door sweeper is starting to fall apart, you may wish to remove and take it with you to find an appropriate sized replacement piece.

Incorporate some passive solar into your home environment.
Passive Solar is very interesting as these ideas usually require  placement of non-mechanical materials and require no or very minimal additional power supply to provide benefit to the living space.  Do you have access to cardboard, tin foil, scissors, some flat black paint and tape?  Check out this low cost project.   LINK
I happened across this project while doing some research online and thought this project fit the bill of maximizing benefits from a small output of time and money.  Now I haven’t tried this for myself, it is however on my ‘to do’ list over the next week.  It is my intention to make a partial passive solar panel for our back ‘south facing’ patio doors.  These doors are used year round.  The partial panel will allow us to maintain the functionality and aesthetics of these patio doors. I am curious to see how much heat a partial solar panel will allow us during the day.   Tune in next week to see how this experiment performs.

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