December is quickly approaching, cold weather is here to stay, and snow has already fallen in many parts of Canada. Winter is on the way. While many people are busy dragging out their winter coats, shopping for new boots and gloves for the kids, and changing their tires for the upcoming precipitation, one very important thing is often unchecked on the winter to-do list: Winterizing your home.
Never fear. We’ve got five easy tips for you to start preparations now.
(Seriously, get to it this weekend!)
Winterize Your Home 101
- Check your furnace! This is so important and yet is often neglected for years. Not only is having your furnace properly serviced a safety issue, but it can save you money as well. At the very least, replace your filter.
- Examine windows and doors for leaks or gaps. This can cause warm air to escape, drive up your heating costs, and let the cold creep in. Weather-stripping may need to be replaced, and applying caulk both inside and out may be necessary.
- Clean your gutters and check your downspouts. This will help prevent leaks and subsequent water damage.
- Wrap your pipes. This will reduce heat loss, thus reduce your gas bill, and prevent frozen pipes. Not everything needs to be wrapped, but any exposed pipes in the basement or attic are worth checking, and likely worth wrapping.
- Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Structural fires (like home fires) are more likely to occur in the winter because of all of the increased heating needs (including electric blankets and space heaters), candles for holidays, and the dry conditions that set in in the winter. Checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be a monthly occurrence, and doing so right at the start of December is a great way to be protected through the holidays.
Don’t neglect your home while you’re buying all your warm-weather gear. It’s likely the place you and your family spend the most valuable time at, sleep at, and enjoy the most. Take care of it so it can help take care of you.