Preparing your home for winter is an important annual ritual for homeowners. Did you know, for example, that if you add insulation to the attic before winter comes, you can prevent ice ponds this winter? And do not forget that adjusting your heating system now can help prevent more expensive emergency repairs at the height of a storm, when it can be difficult to find supplies and licensed contractors. The following winter maintenance tips can help you prepare your home to withstand another cold season.
Your heating system
Take time for preventive maintenance before training your heating system this winter. It can help extend the life of your system and identify potential problems.
- Have your oven or boiler inspected and serviced by a licensed contractor at least once a year, preferably before the fire season begins.
- Clean or replace the oven filter on hot air systems.
- Have your chimney inspected and serviced by an authorized contractor at least once a year. Pay special attention to removing creosote deposits from chimneys that serve wood stoves and fireplaces.
During the winter
- Get filled fuel tanks and keep track of the levels during the winter.
- Do not set the heat below 55 degrees as the temperature inside the walls there water pipes available are colder than living spaces; open doors to unoccupied rooms to maintain an even temperature throughout the house.
- Maintain your wood-burning or pellet stoves according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Is your insulation prepared to protect you from the cold? As an important line of defense against winter stormy winds and sub-zero temperatures, it is worth taking the time to inspect and upgrade insulation and weather protection before the season begins.
- Add extra insulation to the attic to protect yourself from ice ponds. If too much heat comes out in the attic, it can heat the ice and snow on the roof. When it freezes, it can cause an ice dust, which can lead to water damage inside your home or possibly to a roof collapse.
- Add weather protection around doors and tight windows to protect against drafts and heat loss.
- Remove. screens of windows and install storm windows, if appropriate.
Freezing temperatures can be particularly harmful to your home's water pipes. Make sure your pipes are adequately prepared to withstand a cold snap and remember to take extra precautions when leaving your home, including turning off your water.
- Check for water leaks and fix problems immediately; wrap water pipes in UL-listed heating tape and insulate if they are exposed in unheated spaces such as garages, crawl spaces or attics. Only use thermostatically controlled heating tape if your water pipes are made of plastic, and follow the manufacturer's installation instructions.
- Learn how to turn off the water and know where your pipes are located if they freeze; you may be able to prevent water damage.
Your winter safety precautions
As you prepare for winter, some additional safety precautions are especially important during the cold season.
- Cut trees and remove dead branches so they do not hurt your home or injure anyone if they fall due to ice, snow or wind.
- Keep gutters free of leaves, sticks and other debris to ensure that melting snow can drain off properly. Make sure downpipes divert water from the foundation.
- Repair steps and handrails to make them safer in ice and snow.
- Check smoke detectors, fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries to ensure they work properly.
Your Key Accessories & Equipment
The first storm of the year may come faster than you think. Top up early and get key equipment, such as snow throwers and generators, in good condition long before you need them, so you can be prepared to enjoy what the season has to offer.
- Make sure you have snow shovels and a roof rake hands. Store your ice melt mixture to melt ice on walkways.
- Have your snow thrower and generator serviced and make necessary repairs.
- Store fuel for snow throwers and generators in approved safety containers and away from heat or flame producing units. Do not store fuel in your basement.