5 Ways to Winter-proof your Home

Winterizing your home is not a fun task, especially when it’s already freezing cold out, so fall is the ideal time to get winterized in preparation for the season. Proper winterization involves a review of your home’s HVAC equipment as well as the critical structural and mechanical systems. Take care of these elements before winter, so you can enjoy the snow in cozy comfort.

Here are key areas of your home that you should focus on when making your home winter-proof.

Inspect Your Home’s Exterior

According to Home Depot inspecting the exterior of your home is one of the most important steps in the process of preparing your home and making it winter ready, along with: 

Checking your roof to ensure your shingles are intact. Also, make sure your gutters and downspouts are free and clear of leaves and branches.

Check exterior steps and handrails for loose fittings, and remove any snow, ice or standing water that may freeze to help keep your family and visitors from slipping on walkways and driveways.

If your home has a crawl space, you may also want to insulate it, and check for any damage from rodents or water.

Inspect Furnace and Filter

Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase your furnace’s energy demand by making it work harder. Replace filters at least every three months during the heating season. Inspect your furnace for leaks and test for carbon monoxide. If your furnace is older, cracks can form and cause deadly poisonous gas to escape into your home. 

It is also recommended you invest in carbon monoxide detectors to monitor the air in your home.

Insulate windows

Hang heavy curtains to keep the cold out and the cozy in. Use insulation film, available at most hardware stores. This plastic shrink film is easy to apply and keeps in much of the heat that would otherwise escape. Another thing that might help is weatherstripping around doors and windows to plug drafts. Replace your door seals, door sweeps or thresholds to keep cold outside air from seeping into your home.

Flush Your Sprinklers

Winter can be a tough season for your pipes. This is due to the fact that water expands up to 10% more in volume when it freezes so pay special attention to water sources. 

Locate your water shut off valve(s) which are typically in the basement. Sometimes each outdoor faucet or spigot can be connected to its own water shut off valve. Close the water shut off valve. This is usually done by rotating the handle to the right or in a clockwise direction. Make sure the handle is turned until it cannot turn any further. Go to the faucet or hose bib outside and open it to let out the remaining water. Leave it open for about a minute to be sure.

If your lawn has a sprinkler system, it’s important to shut the water off before the ground freezes. You will also want to flush the existing water out of the pipes. To do that, open up the manual valve and flip on the system or, alternatively, use a compressor to blow the remaining water out of the system.

Mind your thermostat

The average thermostat setting for winter is going to be higher than any thermostat setting in the summer. The ideal healthy home temperature in winter should be no higher than 20 degrees Celsius or 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re at home during the day – you’ll be reasonably comfortable at this temperature without splurging on heating.

Every degree you turn it down can save between 1.5 and five per cent of your heating bill. Turn down the thermostat when you’re sleeping or out. It’s the most efficient way to reduce your heating bill — and your eco-footprint.

As usual, our channels of communication are always open to you, so contact us with any questions you may have about any home remodeling process and don’t forget to check out our previous blog post here.

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