We all knew it was coming – After this weekend, we can probably say that winter is here.
With Calgary quickly becoming a Winter Wonderland, it is time to prepare your home!
Here are 8 tips we have put together for you.
1) Furnace Inspection
Have your furnace serviced and ducts cleaned (every 2 years)
Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly. It is good practice to write the date changed on the furnace filter for a reminder – Move the dial on your humidifier from Summer to Winter, make sure the humidifier filter is clean or replace it.
For homes with HRV systems (Heat Recovery and Ventilation system) – clean and service this as per the manufacturer’s instructions on the unit itself.
- Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat
- Remove ALL flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace
2) Get your Gas/Wood Fireplace Serviced/Cleaned/Inspected.
- We suggest having the fireplace serviced and cleaned (every 2 years)
- Adding a thermostat control to your gas fireplace. In the case of furnace failure this could save your home from disaster in winter.
- For solid wood fireplaces, we suggest W.E.T.T inspection(Wood Energy Technology Transfer) every 5 years and get a chimney sweep every 2 years – If you are storing firewood, keep it dry and away from the foundation.
3) Check the Exterior, Doors, and Windows
- Inspect externally for exposed entry points around windows, doors, pipes etc and seal them.
- Inspect and replace (if needed) weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home.
- If your home has a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
4) Prevent Plumbing Freezes
- Winterize all external faucets and drain via the bleed valve, keep off until spring.
- Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency. It is always good practice to turn off water when on vacation
- Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
- Turn off the power and cover the air conditioner unit.
- If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at a minimum of 16 degrees.
5) Service Weather-Specific Equipment
- Drain gas from lawn mowers.
- Service or tune-up snow blowers.
- Replace worn rakes and snow shovels.
- Clean, dry, and store summer gardening equipment.
- Sharpen ice choppers and buy bags of ice-melt / sand.
6) Check Foundations
- Take away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
- Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling in the house.
- Seal foundation cracks. Mice can slip through space as thin as a 1/4 inch..
7) Install/Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every level, ideally every walkway leading to sleeping areas and smoke detectors in every bedroom.
- Check the dates on smoke detectors, the lifespan is 10 years and 7 years for carbon monoxide detectors – Buy extra batteries and change them yearly.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and / or water heater.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly to make sure they work
- Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.
8) Leaving your home in winter
- Turn off the main water supply to the home.
- Have a friend/family member go into the home to check every 2/3 days or as per your insurance requirements
- Keep the heating at a minimum of 16 degrees at all times.
- Turn the water heater to vacation mode.
- Throw out all the garbage in the home.
Are you considering buying or selling?
Give us a call at 403.245.4477 to discuss your needs or take a look at our current listings!
*This blog post has been modified from an article created by Odds On Home Inspections (homeinspectionscalgary.ca)*