As you know a Canadian winter can be a very bitter and long one! To be extra prepared this winter season, here are some helpful tips to keep your home at its best!
First - Get The Fireplace Ready
- If you have not cleaned your chimney in a while, have it swept to remove soot and cresote.
- Purchase firewood or logs and store them in a dry place, away from the exterior of your home.
- Place a cap or screen at the top of your chimney in order to keep rodents or birds.
- Check the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
Second - Furnace Inspection
- Contact a HVAC professional to clean ducts and inspect your furnace.
- Consider switching your your thermostat to a programmable thermostat.
- Clear away any flammable materials surrounding your furnace.
- If by chance your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them.
- Purchase furnace filters and change them monthly.
Third - Check the Exterior Doors & Windows
- Switch summer screens with glass replacements from storage. If you have storm windows, install them.
- Use weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering your home.
- Replace cracked windows.
Fourth - Service Weather, Specific Equipment
- Replace worn snow shovels and rakes.
- Stock up on bags of salt to melt ice.
- Drain gas from lawnmowers.
- Tune-up or service snow-blowers.
- Clean, dry and store summer gardening equipment.
Fifth - Check Foundations
- Secure all crawl space entrances.
- Seal entry points to keep small animals from crawling under your home.
- Seal foundation cracks. Mice can easily slip through a space as thin as a dime.
- Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation.
Sixth - Prevent Plumbing Freezes
- Drain all garden hoses.
- Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
- If you go on vacation, leave your heat on, only set it to 55 degrees.
- Locate you water main in the event you need to shut it off in a emergency.
Seventh - Outdoor Surfaces & Prepare landscaping
- Move delicate potted plants indoors / to a sheltered area.
- Seal brick patios, driveways, and wood decks.
- Trim tree's with branches that are hanging too close to your home or electrical wires.
- Ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned to prevent winter injury.
Eighth - Prepare Emergency Kit
- Purchase candels for your home, in case of a power outage.
- Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food items (including pet food, if you have a pet)
- Include blankets, and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy location.
- Purchase a battery back-up to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment.