Suddenly the first cold snap of winter arrived with a vengeance. We’ve had to quickly switch up our wardrobes, pull out the goose feather duvets and clean out the fireplace to ready ourselves for the cold.

We have written many a blogs about creating a green home (which you can read here , here  and here) but how to keep green in winter, when we use more heat and electricity? The, heaters, heated blankets and air conditioners we use to create an ideal cozy environment all use an enormous amount of energy. But there are green building techniques that can be implemented in order to remain an eco-efficient home.

Here are three quick green building techniques to apply in your home in the winter months:

Find and seal all the leaks.

Any holes or unsealed areas in your home can waste up to 30% of the energy you are using to warm your home. Furthermore, these leaks or broken seals can lead to moisture and poorer indoor air quality – not to mention spores and mould. Inspect all the areas in your home where there is a seal between two different building materials. Areas such as window or door frames, corners (interior and exterior) and electrical outlets should be checked for leaks. By holding a lit candle or match near these areas and checking whether or not the flame jumps, you can see if there is airflow coming from an opening.

Turn down your geyser – even though it’s cold outside.

A huge amount of energy is consumed by heating water in your geyser. By using a geyser blanket and turning your water temperature down you can conserve energy and bring down your water and electricity bills. Even though it is cold outside, your geyser temperature can be set to a temperature that will still be hot enough to be comfortable to shower in. Another green building technique you could consider is a solar powered geyser – especially if your family is small. Even in the dark winter months, here in South Africa we have enough sunlight to heat up the water enough for two people to comfortably live on a solar-powered geyser.

Clever cooking skills come in handy in winter.

Roasted this and baked that are all we generally want to eat in the cold winter months, which means your oven is working overtime for you and your family. The oven and kitchen appliances in your home consume a lot of energy but with a few clever tricks you can save energy. For instance, make sure you use the right sized pots for each meal and stop opening your oven door to check on your food. Rather make use of your oven light, as each time you open the oven door heat is lost and the oven will have to use more energy to heat it up again