Winter is probably the harshest season of the year for your house. Before the weather gets too bad, there are a few simple things you can do to prepare for winter—whether you own or rent your living space.
5. Get Snow Removal Equipment
Depending on your location, you might see snow this winter, so it's important to equip yourself in advance with the tools you'll need to efficiently remove it. At a minimum, you'll want a good snow shovel to clear out your driveway and remove excess snow from your car. Even if you don't drive, it's important to keep walkways and sidewalks clear to reduce the chance of slips and falls. A de-icing compound, such as salt, can help you melt ice and thus improve the safety of your exterior walkways.
4. Avoid Plumbing Damage
When temperatures dip below freezing, any water inside your plumbing system could turn into ice, thereby expanding. This expansion can cause pipe ruptures, which are costly to repair. If you have any pipes running through uninsulated areas of your home, use foam insulation to keep them from getting too cold. You should drain all your exterior faucets and cut off the water supply to them. If you'll be away from your house for any significant length of time, it might be wise to turn off your water main just to be on the safe side. Now might also be a good time to look into a simple toilet repair kit for your home.
3. Weatherstrip Windows and Doors
The cost of heating oil, natural gas, or electricity to keep your home warm can be a significant expense during winter months. You can save a considerable amount by making sure that your place is adequately insulated, as well as by making sure that your doors and windows are properly weatherstripped to eliminate drafts and other air leaks. Many people use incense sticks to check for air leaks; if the smoke moves horizontally rather than vertically, there is a leak. Rope Caulk is an excellent material for weatherstripping. You may also wish to install storm windows and storm doors for additional protection. The best part about improving insulation is that it requires less energy to heat your place, which would enable your house or apartment to run more efficiently on alternative energy, whether you go through one of the many providers in the United States or Edmonton energy service in Canada. Also—consider replacing your windows if they are cracked or damaged.
Much like your doors and windows, your roof can allow cold air to enter your property. Unlike your doors and windows, there are certain hazards that come with roof work, so you may wish to enlist a roofing professional. Check your shingles to make sure they're not damaged. You should take a look at the flashing around your chimney and other parts of the roof and seal any leaks. It's important to make sure that your gutters are properly fastened and aren't clogged with debris. They'll play a vital role in removing water from your roof when snow melts. And, if your roof is in a state of severe disrepair, you may also consider contracting a roofing specialist to assist you.
1. HVAC System Maintenance
You'll be relying on your heating system for comfort and safety during frigid winter months, so it behooves you to make sure everything's in order well before the temperatures start dropping. You should test out the thermostat, furnace, and other parts of your heating equipment and fix anything that doesn't work properly. Be sure to put a clean air filter in your furnace for maximum efficiency. You probably won't use your air conditioners at all during the winter, so you should remove window-based units or use insulated liners to cut down on heating costs.