As the leaves begin to change colours and the air becomes crisp, many are excited for the cozy season that awaits. Of course, there are some important steps you can take this fall to get your home ready for winter so you can enjoy the season knowing your home will be warm and ready.
1. Clean Gutters
Remove leaves and debris from your gutters so rainwater and snow can be directed away from your home, preventing water from damaging your home’s foundation. When water freezes, it expands, so any water seeping into the cracks of your foundation will compromise the integrity of your home.
2. Weather Stripping
Cariboo residents are no strangers to icy, cold weather, which you don’t want in your home. Window and door weather stripping should be applied to any gaps you see or drafts you feel. It will also save you money as you won’t have to turn the heat up to compensate for the cold sneaking in.
The 100 Mile Timber Mart offers foam and rubber stripping, as well as door sweeps.
Store Manager Brett Grinyer also said they offer window poly.
“You can put it over top of existing windows if they’re older, drafty or not insulated glass, and that helps to put another layer and barrier up, so you don’t lose as much heat.”
The poly easily sticks to your window when using the heat of a hairdryer, shrinking and tightening to the window so it’s quite clear, Grinyer explained. You can put it up in the fall and take it off in the spring.
Timber Mart is open Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Exterior faucets should be turned off, valves included, hoses removed, and insulated covers installed.
4. Window Coverings
Whether new or old windows, -30 Celsius is still cold. Another way to keep the warm air in (and help with heating costs) is to cover your windows with insulated blinds or thick drapes.
5. Chimney Cleaning
Ensure your chimney is clean and free of any buildup, reducing the risk of a fire. A professional is the best route to go.
Shawn Prince owns Cariboo Chimney Sweeps and says the best time for chimney maintenance is spring or fall.
“After you’re done burning is an optimal time or before you start burning,” Prince said, who can ensure your chimney is in working order, clean, and an animal hasn’t made a home in your chimney. He can also make sure your installation is up to code, which, if not, may not be covered by your insurance provider.
6. Roof Inspection
A roof inspection is a good idea to catch any leaks before they happen. Again, once that water freezes, it expands and can cause significant damage to your home’s structure. Check for damaged or missing shingles, and while you’re at it, remove any debris. You can also install snow guards and roof heat cables, which help prevent ice dams.
Ensure your HVAC unit is tuned up, as you don’t want it to break down in the middle of a cold and long night. Not only will you be experiencing a cold home, but your pipes can begin to burst.
Since you won’t be hanging your clothes to dry in the fresh summer air, you’ll be using your dryer more often through the winter. Something that can be easily forgotten is to clean the ducts behind your laundry machine, which can cause a fire if there’s too much lint buildup.
9. Reverse Fan
Have you ever wondered why your ceiling fan can spin in both directions? Turns out there is a reason, which all has to do with the angle of the blades. As opposed to the summer, when you want your fan pushing air down to create a breeze, in the winter, you want the opposite. Ensure your fan is set to spin at the lowest speed in a clockwise direction, creating an updraft. The updraft then circulates warm air trapped near the ceiling back out and around the room.
Programmable thermostats are a great addition to your home, as you can set them to turn your furnace on and off automatically, said Grinyer from Timber Mart.
“This helps you save energy in the winter,” he said, as you can turn your heat down when you’re off to work and have it turn back up when you arrive home.