With fall right around the corner it’s time to start preparing your home for the long Canadian winter ahead. We all know that weather in Toronto can change over night and you don’t want to get caught unprepared. Taking some time now to get ready can save you time, headaches and money in the long run. Here are a few ways to prepare your home for winter.
Have your furnace serviced.
You probably haven’t switched on your furnace since that joyful spring day that our first heat wave hit. Despite it being in good working condition the last time it was used it’s still a good idea to have it checked out. Having an HVAC professional do a quick inspection of your furnace for leaks, heat efficiency and filter quality will ensure that it’s ready for that first cold night.
Check your windows and doors for drafts.
Check that the doors and windows are properly sealed with caulking and the weather stripping is still intact. Having a leak in your home’s thermal envelope can cost you a lot heating expenses without you even knowing. If upon visual inspection everything looks good but you still suspect an air leak, you can verify this by using a candle or incense stick and watch for the flame and smoke movement.
Check your water heater.
Now is a good time to check your water heater for wear and tear. This may involve draining it and manually removing the heating coils especially if you live in an area with hard water. You can also check the heat efficiency and replace burnt out heating coils if necessary.
Have your chimney cleaned.
Visually inspect both the interior and exterior of the chimney for any damage that may have occurred over the year. This includes ensuring the chimney cap is tightly sealed to the flue liner at the top so that water doesn’t get in and freeze. A chimney that is filled with soot can be a very dangerous thing, so it is good practice to have your chimney swept on a yearly basis.
Clean the gutters.
As the leaves begin to fall it is a good idea clean out your eaves trough and gutters so that they don’t get backed up and cause water damage to your roof. This is also a good time to inspect your roof for loose or missing shingles, flashing and broken seals around vents. It is a good idea to inspect the attic as well for general damage.