5 essential steps for winterizing your home!
With the changing season comes a long list of items in and around the house that need to be inspected, cleaned, repaired or replaced. Here’s a little checklist to help you set your mind at ease this winter!
1. Windows, doors and patio doors
DID YOU KNOW?
Windows and patio doors can account for
up to 25% of your home’s total heat loss*
* Source: Natural Resources Canada
Heat lost through your home’s windows and doors can really run up your energy bill. To avoid nasty surprises this winter, make sure to thoroughly inspect your windows and doors before the mercury drops. That way, if they need to be replaced, you can take care of it while the weather is still above freezing. Find the perfect door to match your home decor here!
Things to look out for:
- Are your window panes cracked? If so, they need to be replaced!
- Do your door and window frames let in drafts? If so, a fresh layer of caulk is in order!
- Is the weather stripping on your doors past its prime? Here’s a simple way to check: close the door on a sheet of paper. If it’s easy to slide the paper out, your weather stripping needs to be replaced.
- Do the closures and hardware on your doors and windows work properly? As needed, adjust closures and hardware for a tight seal.
You can also use this time to take down your screens. Not only are they useless during the winter months, but they also obstruct your view and trap condensation. Make sure to clean them before putting them in storage: you’ll be a step ahead when it’s time to put them back up in the spring! If you want to maximize the rare winter sunlight coming into your home, take the time to thoroughly clean your windows.
Over time, ventilation ducts can build up an impressive amount of dirt and grime. If water gets into them, they can even become host to bacteria and mold! To keep you breathing easy, thoroughly clean your furnace filters and exterior outlets. Your lungs will thank you!
3. Heating systems
Before you fire up your baseboard heaters, think about cleaning them to spare yourself the odour of burnt dust. If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, have your chimney cleaned before your first fire of the season. This helps reduce the risk of a chimney fire and can help your fireplace or stove burn more efficiently. You can also take this time to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Fresh batteries can save lives! Once your heating system is inspected, and everything is properly insulated, you can incorporate a few other things to ensure that your home stays cozy all winter long.
Before the first frost, open exterior taps to drain any water left in the pipes. Otherwise, the water may freeze and burst the pipes! While you’re at it, empty and stow your garden hoses.
5. Rain gutters, roof and walls
After the leaves have fallen, clean out your rain gutters to prevent clogs. Before winter hits, remove downspout extensions that carry water away from the house, as they may be damaged by ice or snow buildup.
To prevent leaks, inspect the condition of shingles on your roof. For flat roofs, thoroughly clean drains and inspect the condition of the membrane—look for cracks and seal any you find. Do the same for exterior walls.