With the cold weather slowly descending upon us, it’s time to start thinking about ways to get your home ready for the winter months. Here is a quick list of some of the major things to look out for when getting your house ready for Canada's most famous season.
One of the biggest stressors in the winter are the heating costs. In Canada, we never really know when the bad weather is going to strike and to what degree. In the past years we’ve been treated to some of the most mild temperatures for the season and record breaking lows. No matter what Mother Nature decides to throw at us, making sure that your home is as energy efficient as possible is key to keeping your costs down.
~You will want to check all the weather stripping around your doorways and windows as well as checking for drafts and repairing or replacing things as necessary.
~Doing a test run of your furnace or other heating system before it becomes necessary is a great way to check that everything is in working order. When you turn on your heating system you should hear your furnace spring to action and feel warm air flowing from all of your home’s vents. Make sure that all of your vents are clear of obstacles and debris. If one of your vents aren’t working or if you notice low air flow, it may be time to have them professionally cleaned.
~If you have a propane or oil furnace you should make sure your fuel tanks are all topped up and ready for operation.
~With the lack of open windows and fresh air coming into your home in the winter months, make sure you check for carbon monoxide leaks and that your detectors are in good working order.
With the warmer temperatures gone and the days of enjoying your deck and outdoor areas coming to an end, here are some of the main things to prepare outside your home.
~Make sure that all overgrown branches are trimmed back from your house or nearby powerlines so they don’t cause damage in big winter storms.
~To give your grass a head start for next year, aerate your lawn, reseed and apply a winterizing fertilizer to promote deep root growth.
~While you’re working around your house you will want to make sure that all around your home the dirt grade slopes away from the exterior. Ensuring that rain and snow drain away from your home is important to avoid potential foundation problems.
~Shutting off all outside water taps and draining or bringing in any hoses or sprinklers will avoid burst pipes and broken supplies for next year.
~Finding a place for all your patio furniture to come inside, or into a shed, will help it from deteriorating. If you don’t have space for it inside, then try your best to tarp or cover it before it gets too wet.
~Make sure your deck is in good working order and keep a look out for cracks or problems so you can do necessary repairs before the winter makes them worse.
~Make sure all your handrails are secure in case you need them to prevent a fall on the icy steps!
~Even though air conditioners are meant to be left outside, its always helpful to give them a good rinse and clear away debris from them when they are out of use. You can cover them with a breathable material before winter to help extend their life and avoid repairs. If you have a window unit, bring it inside and double check that your windows close properly afterward with no drafts or leaks!
You can find more winterizing ideas and how-to tips and tutorials on our Pinterest Page HERE