In the fall, the days start to get shorter, the nights get colder, and children head back to school. As a homeowner, these are the signs that it is time to get your home ready for the winter. In Ottawa, our winters can be harsh, or mild. These simple things will keep your home warm and comfortable all winter and help prevent damage.
Check your roof for any loose shingles and repair them, if necessary. This is a good time to clean your gutters and downspouts. Make sure that water flows easily down from your roof and away from your home, this will prevent damage to your roof and foundation. If possible, install gutter guards to prevent a buildup of leaves and debris.
Windows and doors can develop cracks and gaps, especially if they are older. Any gaps that are wider than the width of a nickel between the siding and window, or door frame can cause drafts and cost more to heat your home during the winter months. These exterior gaps can be sealed with caulking. Just apply caulking, use your finger to smooth the seal, and enjoy your draft-free doors and windows.
Make sure you know where your shut off valves are and turn off the exterior faucets.
Make sure your Air conditioner is covered to protect it from snow, but do not wrap it completely. A simple plywood cover on the top is sufficient. Covering the air conditioner completely could lead to mould growth, high humidity that can lead to rust, or a safe place for rodents to live in the winter.
Some tender and fragile plants need to be protected from harsh conditions. A simple shelter made with a few stakes and burlap should do the trick.
- Book and HVAC appointment. Make sure to get regular maintenance on your HVAC unit. This will increase the life of your unit.
- Replace Furnace Filters. Your furnace filter should be changed monthly to ensure efficiency.
- Top up Your Attic Insulation. This prevents too much heat from escaping through your attic.
- Clean Laundry Machine Vents. Dryer lint build up can reduce the efficiency of your dryer and is a fire hazard.
- Check Your Fire Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms. Test the alarms and replace the batteries.
We believe that doing these tasks each year to prepare your home for winter will help you save money, prevent damage to your home and give you peace of mind through the winter months!