The dip in fall temps may have you thinking more about roaring fireplaces and ski hills than your water pipes and furnace, but spending a weekend now to prepare your home for the cold weather ahead, can not only save you hassle and money down the road but also help keep you safe and warm this winter.
Check your roof and clear your gutters. Lifting tiles can lead to small leaks that can build up to a big problem over the winter. Meanwhile, summer and fall debris in gutters can freeze over and act as possible plugs when winter snow starts to melt. Take the time now to avoid the costs that a clogged gutter and damaged roof could result in later.
Turn off the outside water supply, but not the outside taps. Any water still in the pipes needs a place to go. Shutting off the water supply while leaving the outside taps open will mean that excess water runs out of your home instead of into your basement.
Seal and insulate windows and doors against the cold. Help guard against windy drafts and an expensive heating bill, by sealing the bottoms of windows and doors and insulating windows. Inexpensive options include weather stripping and window film. You can also use layered drapery as an attractive and effective tool to help keep the cold air out.
Make sure your furnace is running properly. Annual furnace maintenance is a wise idea and a better investment than a costly fix or replacement – especially in the depths of winter. Schedule an inspection and remember to change the filters (they should be changed between four to six times a year and even more in homes with pets). It’s also a good time to have fireplaces inspected and ducts cleaned.
Check or install a carbon monoxide detector. With a greater amount of fuel-burning occurring in your home over the winter months, via heat sources such as furnaces and fireplaces, there is a greater risk of a carbon monoxide leak. A carbon monoxide detector placed near the sleeping areas of your home is a good idea and is also mandated by law in certain provinces. Now is also a good time to do a quick test of your smoke alarm.
Build an emergency kit and keep it handy. With the potential for winter storms and power outages, take some time to assess what supplies you have on hand. Flashlights, emergency candles, batteries, bottled water and blankets should be stored in an easy-to-find location in case of an emergency.
Are you covered for winter weather related mishaps? Call a PC® insurance broker at 1-866-660-9035 or get a quote online today to find out how much you could save on home or renters’ insurance.