As Canadians we may be pros at embracing winter and enjoying all that ice and snow have to offer outdoors, but when we’re at home, we deserve to be warm and cozy. Here are 10 ways to winterproof your home so it’s always comfortable and your heating bills are low.
Clean out roof gutters
Your roof is your first line of defence against winter weather. So keep gutters clear of debris so rain and snow can drain away from your home’s foundation. If gutters are clogged, an ice dam can form causing snow to slide directly to the side of your home. That pile-up can eventually melt and do major water damage.
Drain outdoor pipes
Drain outdoor pipes from garden taps to air conditioning hoses so that the water doesn’t turn to ice and cause a burst inside your walls when it expands.
Cover up your air conditioner
Your air conditioner will last longer if you cover it up to protect it from moisture and rusting. Use a special cover designed for air conditioners, wrap it with a tarp and rope, or put a wood board on it to hold it down with a rock or bricks to act as a protective lid for when snow piles up and melts.
Insulate your walls and attic
One of the most effective ways to winterproof your home is with insulation. Look in your attic and basement to see what areas could be covered, or what insulation could be replaced if it’s old, to provide a warm interior liner that lasts.
Seal windows and doors
Gaps and cracks around windows and doors can let a surprising amount of heat escape. Seal gaps with caulking or weather-stripping. Or use plastic wrap as an extra layer of warmth for single windowpanes. There are plenty of window winterproofing kits available at hardware stories to do this task. Or you could also tape bubble-wrap plastic to the window for an added layer of protection – in rooms where decor isn’t a concern.
Furnace inspection and cleaning
Book a HeyBryan HVAC professional to inspect your furnace to ensure that it’s operating efficiently. These expensive, hardworking appliances should be cleaned every year not just for your comfort, but for your safety against carbon monoxide leaks and other issues. Also remember to change your furnace filter every three months so that air filtration is easier on the fan.
Install a programmable thermostat
Another effective way to winterproof your home is to install a programmable thermostat so you can control the temperature based on your schedule. Many thermostats are also controllable from a smartphone so if your plans change, you can change the settings.
Reverse the direction of ceiling fans
Push that lovely warm air that keeps rising to the ceiling, down into your room where you can feel it by changing the direction of your ceiling fans.
Inspect your fireplace
Your fireplace – whether gas or wood – needs to be inspected and cleaned annually to ensure it is operating safely and efficiently. Spider webs can clog gas lines and birds nesting in your chimney can cause a fire, so hire a professional to take a close look.
Decorate for warmth
Even decor can play a role in winterproofing your home. Move furniture off vents so that warm air keeps circulating. Keep curtains open on the sunny side of your home for free solar heat. Use area rugs and mats to keep floors warm.
Book a HeyBryan Expert to help you winterproof your home. Experts have been vetted and approved by the HeyBryan team so you can feel comfortable having an Expert in or around your home to complete your task safely and efficiently.