February in Manitoba means another month of frigid winter temperatures. When you go outside this month, you likely bundle up in lots of layers to stay warm. So why wouldn’t you do the same with your home?
Your heating system works hard to keep your home comfortable. A poorly insulated home lets all that warm air out and makes your heating system work even harder. That leads to higher energy bills.
If your home was built before 1999, you may not have enough insulation in your attic, walls or basement. Adding insulation can keep your home nice and comfortable by minimizing heat loss in the winter (and keeping cool air inside in the summer). You may also qualify for Manitoba Hydro’s Home Insulation Program, which provides homeowners with a rebate of up to 100% of their insulation material costs. For more information about insulation and the Home Insulation Program rebate, visit hydro.mb.ca/hip.
Even if you have plenty of insulation, there might still be areas around your home where warm air could escape. Cracks and gaps in your windows, doors and even around electrical outlets provide a perfect escape route for heat. Installing air sealing measures will close up these gaps and reduce heat loss.
Check for air leaks by clipping a tissue to a coat hanger. If the tissue flutters when held against a closed window or door or in front of an electrical outlet, there’s a leak that needs to be sealed.
Here are some ways you can draft-proof your home:
• Caulk gaps between the trim of your windows and the wall, as well as between the trim and window frame.
• Install or replace weatherstripping on doors and operable windows.
• Pick up a window insulating film kit. Sealing windows with plastic film will provide an additional barrier to reduce drafts.
• Use your storm windows. They’ll create an insulated air space to reduce condensation and heat loss (or gain in the summer). As an added bonus, they’ll help prolong the life of your interior windows.
• Install foam draft stoppers on your electrical outlets.
Want to learn more about insulation and air sealing? Visit our website at hydro.mb.ca/your_home/insulation.