Winter maintenance tips

No Winter Checklist Is Complete Without These 3 Things

If there’s one thing Canada is famous for, it’s the winter, and now we’re staring at another season that will move in and sit in the city for the next several months.

You already know that you’ll need to make some changes to your lifestyle to deal with the cold, but your house should also be prepared for the season too. With our checklist, you make sure you and your home are ready for another Canuck winter season.

Check Your Safety Alarms

Man giving a thumbs up near a Smoke Alarm Hopefully, your home has both fire and carbon monoxide alarms monitoring the area. If you’ve gotten your alarms more recently, a single model may handle both your fire and carbon monoxide needs.

It may even tell you when the battery power is getting low. If you don’t have one of these newer models, conduct an inspection and test them to make sure they’re still working. Winter is when you want to make sure your carbon monoxide alarm, in particular, is doing its job.

You’ll rely on your furnace to keep your home warm, and any mechanical failure may result in incomplete combustion, which leaks carbon monoxide into the home. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is both colorless and odorless, and eventually lethal. So outside of people getting sick, the only other way you can tell that you’ve got a leak is if your alarm detects this gas building up.

Start Stocking Up On De-Icing Salt

Frozen PipeAnother familiar staple of Canadian homes during the winter is de-icing salt for your sidewalk, driveways, and outdoor plumbing. If you don’t have any yet, it’s probably a good time to think about heading to the store and picking a few bags.

If this is a winter maintenance habit you’ve never picked up for yourself, now might be a good time to learn about it and start putting it into practice.

Of course, blizzards and other heavy snowfall conditions mean you’ll still need a shovel or a snowblower if you have that in your garage, but for lighter conditions, de-icing salt is great.

Sprinkling it on the sidewalk or the driveway to your garage melts all the snow and, more importantly, melts the ice as well and keeps it off. No more slipping and sliding for either you or your vehicles coming to and from the home.

Examine & Maintain the Insulation & Ventilation

tiny house wrapped in a scarfA lot of people forget about insulation in the home once it’s been installed, but it’s insulation that can make the biggest difference to just how high both your heating and your cooling bills can be every month.

Modern insulation, correctly installed, dramatically reduces the rate at which warm or cold air from your home escapes into the outdoors. Check your insulation or upgrade it if you notice your bills are going up.

Ventilation is also important, both in your home and outside. Clear vents mean greater efficiency in carrying heat through the rooms. Clean vents mean that no possible contagions, such as mold, are being spread when this air is distributed.

On the outside, exhausts or air intakes should also be free from obstruction to ensure the efficiency of HVAC systems is as good as it can be. As long as homeowners follow the tips we’ve outlined above, the upcoming winter in Ottawa, ON can be safe, warm, manageable and still energy and cost-efficient for everyone in your home.