There’s no hiding from it. Winter is on its way! Don’t get us wrong, there’s a lot to love about the colder weather—like crisp snow, hot chocolate, and staying warm by the fireplace. But there are also some not-so-great things about the upcoming season, and the toll it can take on a home is one of them.
The good news? There are steps you can take to prevent your biggest investment from being damaged by harsh winds, heavy snowfalls, and sheets of ice. Here are five winter-proofing tips to help protect your home this winter!
1) Winterize your outdoor faucets
It’s a simple step, yet one that’s easily forgotten. If you don’t prep your outdoor faucets for winter, they could freeze—and the resulting damage just might lead to a burst pipe! Luckily, preventing this outcome is fairly simple. Start by disconnecting your garden hoses. Drain all of the water from your faucets, then apply outdoor covers over them. You should be able to find these items at your local home improvement or gardening store!
2) Change your furnace filter
Energy bills tend to rise in the winter—sometimes more than they have to! All too often, it comes down to a sluggish furnace. While we’re big believers in getting the hearth of your home serviced regularly, simply changing the filter is often enough to make it more efficient. As a bonus, this simple improvement (which probably won’t take you more than ten minutes) can provide an instant boost to the air quality in your home.
3) Seal the gaps
Does Jack Frost have a way of getting into your house when the temperature drops? When it comes to cold drafts, some of the most common culprits are the gaps around windows and doors. Luckily, there are a few different ways to fix them. Depending on the age of your home, you may want to go the full-on replacement route. If that’s not yet necessary, you can try replenishing your weather stripping or repairing existing damage to your frames with wood filler.
4) Insulate exposed pipes
Burst pipes can quickly become a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, they’re all too common here in Ottawa, where the temperature plummets during the winter. One of the best ways to prevent this costly (and inconvenient) problem is by keeping those pipes insulated! There are a few different material to choose from, including foam insulation and fibreglass covers. Remember to target pipes in unheated spaces. Those that run through exterior walls, crawl spaces, and attics will be most likely to freeze.
5) Program your thermostat
One of the biggest reasons to winterize your home is to heat it more efficiently. With that in mind, many Ottawa homeowners are opting for programmable thermostats to save money during the coldest months. These relatively inexpensive devices can help ensure that your furnace isn’t running at full capacity all day long. Simply set it so that the temperature dips when nobody’s home, and turns back up again before you’re due to arrive in the evening.
There you have it! Five steps you can take to winterize your house before the cold weather sets in. Remember that maintaining your home isn’t just about it making it a more comfortable (and energy-efficient) place to live—it can also lead to better sale price down the road!
Thinking of selling your home in the not-so-distant future? Get in touch to learn how we can make the process as easy and profitable as possible!