Getting Your Home Winter Ready

Home School Care & Maintenance

We all see a forecast for snow and ice as our cue to pull out our parkas and toques. Maybe even track down an extension cord for the car, so it can survive the cold snap. But what about getting our homes set for several months of frosty conditions? Here’s a look at some ideas on how to keep our homes in top shape this winter.

Don’t Let Leaks Last
Reapply or replace caulking and weather stripping to door and window frames where deteriorating. These are the most common culprits for leaks but some homes have hidden openings that can be easy to miss. Not only does getting rid of leaks mean less time layered in a second sweater, you’ll also see it cut your monthly energy bills.

Heating System Upkeep
Before your furnace faces its busiest months, give it a practice round. Turn it on early to make sure everything is running smoothly before it’s needed the most. Because it’s been out of action for several months, you’ll notice a strong smell – but this won’t last. It’s also useful to have your furnace inspected and cleaned once a year. Regular maintenance of your furnace will turn into savings on your utility bills. Keeping your vents clean is also key. Toss dirty filters and stock up with replacements because they should be changed year round but even more importantly during the winter.

Crack Down on Condensation
Low temperatures outdoors with inadequate indoor ventilation can turn into condensation build-up on windows. This means your indoor humidity is too high. How often a family cooks, showers and runs their dishwasher or washing machine can affect humidity levels in a home. Your home will have either a passive or drip-style humidifier and its manufacturer’s instructions will guide you on the best way to use it during freezing conditions. To keep condensation build-up off your windows, turn the humidifier to the low end of the comfort zone before the extreme cold rolls in. Then raise window covers to help with airflow around the windows.

Don’t worry, it’s normal
-On a chilly night, many of us will flip the switch on our gas fireplace and enjoy its soothing glow. You’ll notice a white haze on the glass, as it heats up. This can be cleaned yourself and the fireplace manual will offer proper instruction to do so.

-The doors aren’t closing quite like they did a few months ago. Since the cores of exterior doors are made from wood, they may see minor shrinkage and warping because of humidity. In fact, doors are designed to be adjusted with the change in season.

-You may notice some squeaking and creaking on your hardwood floors due to the lower humidity levels. This is normal and will resolve itself during the spring.