Summer is over for another year and now that fall is officially upon us it is a good idea to start preparing your home for the cold winter ahead.  You can do all of this yourself and it will help lower your bills and protect your home.

Protect your pipes from freezing

Undrained water pipes such as exterior faucets can freeze and burst and the ice expands.  Remember to disconnect all hoses and drain the water that is in the faucets.

Pipes inside your attic, basement and other areas that are located near to outer walls are susceptible to freezing.  To negate the risk of this happening you can add additional insulation to the pipes in areas such as the attic or a crawl space.  Ensure the thermostat is kept at a constant temperature and does not drop below 12 celcius.  Check if your house has a shut off valve to outside garden faucets.
To protect pipes under sinks close to exterior walls open the cabinet doors to allow some heat to flow.
You can also let a warm tap drip slightly overnight when extreme cold conditions have been forecast.

Make your windows energy efficient

A great way to save money if you do not have double glazing is to cover them in plastic film.  It is very easy to install and only requires scissors and a hair dryer. 

Clean the gutters

If you gutters are full of debris such as leaves this can cause a water backup against the house and can damage your roof, siding and can cause leaks and ice dams.

Clean your chimney

If you have a wood burning fire you should always ensure that your fireplace, chimney and vent are in clean good working order.  This is very important as it can lead to chimney fires and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.  Ensure the chimney sweep is WETT certified. You can visit wettinc.ca to find a list of qualified inspectors.

Be Prepared

Just like the old scout saying you should always be prepared.  A harsh winter can cause issues such as blackouts due to downed power lines, and snow ins during heavy snow fall.
Always ensure your home has a ready made backup kit to deal with these situations.  A kit should consist of at least the following items. 

  • Flash lights and spare batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Bottled Water
  • Tinned food as this is non perishable
  • Blankets
  • Portable Mobile Phone Battery chargers (So you can charge your phone if there is a power out and an emergency arises)