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I live in a fairly cold climate (at least during Sukkos, especially this year) and so I am always looking for ways to reduce heat-loss in my Sukkah. There are plenty of options for the walls, but the s'chach is more difficult. In previous years, I have used wood wool (the long thin wood shavings that you typically find in gift baskets) on top of a nylon net suspended under the typical modern reed mat s'chach, but this is tedious to arrange and as far as I understand is not really ideal halachically as the s'chach should not be supported by something not kosher for s'chach. It can also get a bit messy.

I'm looking for ideas for how I can have some kind of kosher s'chach which will act as a good insulator without being too thick (not more than a few centimetres), not too time consuming to arrange and not too expensive (I'm not looking to spend hundreds of British Pounds). The sukkah is about 3x4 metres and I have a sloping frame as I pull a sheet of tarpaulin over the top to protect the sukkah from the rain.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • besides woods, what options do you have and what do you expect from a Kosher Succah?? – Al Berko Sep 23 at 14:47
  • You're a bit limited with schach as it has to be naturally grown material. Some other possible options - I think one of the biggest cooling factors is wind. Thus, a fairly thick covering of leaves seem to keep out most of the wind and does a decent job at preserving heat. Other than that, you could install floor heaters in the succah, or use suspended heating fans / lamps from the ceiling. Beyond that, keep in mind, that if it is unbearably cold, you are probably exempt from sitting in the succah, anyway. – DanF Sep 23 at 15:02
  • I recommend you contact Chabad in a cold area (like Edmonton). They'll have ideas. – msh210 Sep 23 at 16:22
  • @DanF I have 2 heaters - a 2kW fan heater and a 2.5kW oil filled radiator, but most of the heat is quickly lost. I'm trying to keep things comfortable for guests primarily as we like to invite family and friends. – wizzardmr42 Sep 23 at 17:31
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    @wizzardmr42 What's your baseline that you're trying to improve upon? Generally the fewer gaps, the more heat will stay in. So a bamboo mat would be better than loose branches. – Popular Isn't Right Sep 24 at 5:16

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