What to do now to prepare for winter
IT’S already April, and the cold — really cold — weather will be here before you can snap your fingers. Get a jump on winter by taking care of a few things in and around the house now, while it’s still bearable temperaturewise. Now is the time to give your home a little love and attention so that you are prepared for the colder months, and that costs don’t unnecessarily soar and plough a hole into your pocket.
Organising your home for winter can seem like an annoying and perhaps unnecessary chore. But the financial benefits will outweigh any feelings of being “put out.” Winter heating costs can skyrocket if your windows are poorly insulated, your plumbing breaks, or if the heating system is out-of-date. Ensuring your home is prepped properly can save you a nice chunk of change while protecting your property for years to come.
Break It Down Looking at a giant to-do list is overwhelming. To save frustration, break it down into two or three jobs you can tackle over the next three to four weekends. First up, windows. Check each one in the house for drafts and insulation needs. The following week, inspect pipes to avoid an unfortunate burst in January. You can make things even easier by dividing the job among the family. Assign each person a room to inspect and report back on whether it’s ready for winter.
Here are some tips to make for an easier transition into the cold...
It’s advisable to do an assessment of the outside structure of your house. This includes walls, windows, doors, floors and roofs. Have a proper look around at what needs to be repaired, sealed or insulated. Gutters and drains should also be cleared of leaves and debris on a regular basis. Overflowing gutters and drains could drench walls and cause damage to your home.
Electricity is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to winter costs. There are a number of measures you can put in place to bring your electricity bill down, and proper insulation of your home is one of them.
Make sure your home is insulated correctly so that heat is not lost unnecessarily. Insulation isn’t just for cold climates. If your home is insulated correctly it will keep your home cooler in the summer as well as keep it warm in winter.
Have your geyser inspected or serviced before winter starts, as they are one of the biggest contributors to electricity bills.
Heat Things Up Everyone enjoys cozy evenings by a crackling fire? Ensure your fireplace is ready to provide warm nights all winter. Be sure to have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional before the first frost. Also, have a professional perform a routine check of the heating systems before cold weather arrives. This should include vacuuming the vents and other heating components. If your furnace has a filter, check to see if it needs replacing. For more energy savings, consider installing a setback thermostat that keeps the home cooler when you are asleep or away.
Seal the Leaks Keep drafts to a minimum this winter. If you have them, install storm windows and doors -- and don’t overlook the basement. Add or replace worn weather stripping around the doors and windows and caulk any gaps. If doorstops are worn, replace them. If any pipes or ducts travel through an exterior wall, be sure to use caulking and weather-stripping around all entry points. These steps will block any potential entry points for cold air. That’s an idea you can warm up to. — Privateproperty
MAKE sure you keep your furnace maintained to prevent your home from catching fire.