As the temperatures drop and days get shorter – old man winter is right around the corner. Before you know it, snow and ice will be here. Sigh…
Extreme weather can put your home to the “test”. Getting ready now, will help protect your home from any potential problems and damage. Nobody wants to be without the heat in the middle of the winter, or get a burst water pipe. Or to find out their energy bills are super high, because the windows weren’t properly insulated.
Here is a list of essentials to do around your house to ensure you’re ready for winter!
- Furnace – get your furnace inspected by a professional HVAC company, to make sure it’ll run smoothly and efficiently. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, get one! They will pay themselves off withing one winter season.
- Doors & Windows – preventing heat loss means your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard, which means you’ll use less energy. So take some time to check all doors and windows to make sure no gaps, air leaks, drafts, etc. Any home hardware store sells all kinds of weather sealants.
- Chimney – if you have a fireplace, and plan to use it, get a professional to check it and sweep it. Last thing you need is a chimney fire or a build up of carbon monoxide in your home.
- Gutters – clean out the gutters so there is no leaves or dirt in there. You want water and snow to be able to freely drain. Also, consider extending your downspouts about 5 feet away from your house – this helps prevent basement water damage.
- Roof – inspect the roof for any damaged shingles, or worn out caulking around the chimney and air vents. This helps prevent water damage and mold, as a result saving you from having to do big repairs in the future.
- Outdoor Water Taps – turn off outdoor water taps and faucets to prevent them from bursting when it gets really cold, because water can turn to ice and ice expands. Disconnect the garden hoses and drain any leftover water. Also drain your lawn irrigation system too.
- Insulate Pipes – save yourself money by insulating the pipes that are in unheated areas. Even then, by insulating a pipe you’re preventing heat loss, which helps cut down on energy costs.
- Snow Removal – now is the time to also test out your snow blower, get yourself some salt, and that shovel. You don’t want to be caught without one in the winter, because the demand for such products goes up and when that happens… price goes up too!
- Bushes and Trees – if you have any big bushes or large trees with branches getting too close to cable lines, power line, or your house. Consider trimming them to prevent power loss when the freezing rain makes those branches super heavy, and they break. You don’t want them coming down on your windows, or cables, causing property damage.
- Smoke Alarm – Lastly, test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re functioning properly.
- Ceiling Fans – by reversing your ceiling fans, your pushing air down.. and we all know hot air rises up so this will help you feel warmer.
Lori VanDinther, Burlington RE/MAX sales representative and a team leader, is a long time resident of Burlington and has been helping real estate buyers and sellers in Burlington, Oakville, Carlisle, Kilbride, Waterdown and surrounding areas for 23+ years!