Winter Readiness For Your Home
Preparing your home for the winter is very important - especially when living in a climate like Calgary.
Winter can come quick and harsh. The best time to prepare your home is in the fall while the weather is still warm and service companies are not super busy.
Ten easy to-do’s for home winter preparedness
I place this at number one as this is the heart of keeping warm during the chilly season. It is recommended you have your furnace cleaned and inspected annually. I don’t know anyone who does.
However, at least have your filters replaced and if you have not had an inspection completed in the past couple years, maybe now is the time to do it. The last thing you want or need is your furnace to fail during a cold snap - which is the most likely time. This will be costly and very stressfull. Be sure to have the area around the furnace clear as well.
Check and replace and/or clean the evaporator wick. This will help air-flow as well as help maintain proper humidity in your home.
Door and Window seals
Your first line of defense against the cold air creeping into your house. I tend to do this in the evening with a flashlight shine the light at the door frame with someone on the other side looking for light. Where there is light, there will be cold air. Inspect your windows to ensure a tight seal when locked. If you know a window is leaking air, try to see if it can be repaired, or another option is to use plastic heat seals.
Hopefully no critter’s have made a home in your chimney over the summer. Do you plan on using it over the winter? If so, have it cleaned. If not, seal up the damper to prevent warm air escaping. If you use a gas fireplace, perhaps the inspector looking at your furnace can give it a quick service as well.
Hose bibs / Hoses:
Will not be long before these have to get put away for the season. I typically drain the water out and hang in my garage, then turn the water off to the tap. Despite having self draining hose-bibs that claim to be ok for the winter – I still turn the water off.
Seal any holes where warm air can escape:
Walk around the exterior of your house, you may be surprised by a few holes here and there. Especially were services enter. I typically use an expanding spray foam and inject a little inside. This prevents the air flow, but also prevents bugs/critters in the summer months.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke/Fire Detectors:
Check the batteries in your CO and smoke detectors and/or replace. If you do not have a Carbon Monoxide detector, you should buy one. Just as important as a smoke detector.
Look in the attic for exposed areas. Two of the more common failures here are inadequate insulation and seal on and around the attic access, as well as too much insulation preventing air flow where the roof meets the ceiling.
Reverse the direction to push warm air from the ceiling down to the floor. This can help cut down your heating costs.
Walk the perimeter of your home, look for areas that can collect water and create ice patches. Our climate does have chinook’s so melts and re-freezing is very common. Locating problem areas now and trying to remedy may prevent that ice from building up.