Ugh, the dreaded sound of your heater kicking on. A sure sign of Winter. But, are you really ready? Or more so, is your home really ready for the dreaded ugly, cold span of 4 months when we Canadians going into hibernation?
Here are a few tips to help you stay warm, and save money during the Winter:
#1 The top way to ensure your energy bills stay somewhat normal over the winter months. Keep cold air out and warm air in!
Ensure that any leaks in your home (inside and outside) are blocked or covered up. That goes for doors, windows, lighting fixtures etc. Seal any outdoor leaks with a weather-resistant caulking.
Clean out your gutters
As soon as the leaves are done falling, make sure you clean out your gutters and give them a good hose rinse. That way, when the snow melts in the Winter it can drain properly and you won’t have to deal with any ice damming (what’s that? It happens when your gutters are full and the melted snow has nowhere to go. It runs back up your roof under your shingles and then eventually freezes again. This can cause major roof damage as well as flooding. Not something you want to have to deal with when it’s -20 out). Once that’s done double check that your down spouts are directed away from the foundation of your home.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
It’s a big job however adding insulation to your attic will really help you keep the warm air in and the cold out. Generally, you should have at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic space.
Is your furnace working?
There’s nothing worse than that first day of really cold weather when you turn to your thermostat, turn on your heat, and realize that your furnace isn’t working. Test your furnace in the fall to make sure it is in good health. It wouldn’t be a bad idea either to have it serviced by an inspector. Also, don’t forget to load up on filters for the Winter months as a dirty filter restricts clean air flow.
Are your ducts in a row?
Ensure that all of your home’s duct work is connected properly, and fix any issues if not. Any air that is escaping from your ductwork is being wasted and not going where it’s needed. Also, think about having your ducts cleaned out every couple of years. You would be surprised the amount of dust and dirt that gets collected in your ducts, and is then circulated into your home.
Check your plumping
Undo all of your hoses and put them somewhere that won’t freeze. If you have any exposed plumbing pipes ensure that they are insulated. Also, make sure you know where your main water shut off is in case of emergency.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
A simple trick to push hot air down.
Program your thermostat
An easy way to save some money. Program your thermostat to lower the temp at night when you are sleeping, or out of the house, and increase the temp when you are at home. Look for instruction in the manual that came with your thermostat, or online.
Not a DIYer? No problem. If you would like some business recommendations for the above tasks please email me at rebecca@onthemoveTO.ca