The warm weather we’re experiencing right now is a welcome surprise, but as every Canadian knows, it won’t last long. Winter is on its way… and with it all the hazards of the season. Now is a great time to get your home or business ready for the coming ice, snow and wind while it’s still easy to do.
Tools and outdoor furniture can become damaged if exposed to outdoor temperatures for a lengthy period of time. Make sure to:
Both windows and doors can let in a lot of cold air if they’re not sealed properly. So, before the temperature drops too low, here are some suggestions to keep the heat where it belongs – inside!
Tip: You can find drafts by lighting a candle and moving it around your doors and window frames. If the candle flickers, there’s a draft coming into your home or business.
Even small gaps can cause heat to escape. If you find your electrical outlets or your heating ducts are letting in a draft, insulate them with a sealer or a winterizing kit. Check your home or business for areas where the insulation may have come loose or settled and become thin. These are often found along the eaves in attics and in crawl spaces. Consider adding an extra layer of protection, such as pre-fitted insulation blankets that cover most standard attic access doors.
Your furnace must work harder when the filters are dirty. In most cases, you should replace your filters every 30-90 days, and it’s a good idea to do it before the cold settles in deep. Cleaning furnace components such as fans and heat exchangers will improve the system’s efficiency. You may also want to have your air ducts cleaned and serviced. Heat exchangers can get clogged with dust and dirt, and dirty ductwork can restrict airflow.
Make sure you have snow shovels and a stock of ice melt, sand, and/or salt handy – especially if you’ll have customers or family members coming and going regularly.
Depending on your tank, it may be wise to add an extra layer of insulation to keep it from losing heat. A properly installed water heater blanket (jacket) can cut heat losses by 25 to 40 per cent and can reduce your heating bills. Before you insulate your tank, keep these things in mind:
You may also want to ensure that any exposed pipes (either on the outside of your building or in your basement/crawl space) are properly insulated. This can apply to both water and gas pipes. Heat tape can help prevent problems. Just make sure you buy the right kind of tape for your pipes – tape intended for metal pipes can melt PVC. Here are the steps to follow:
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