Pre­pare your home for win­ter with these sim­ple tricks

Calgary Sun - - HOMES - — NEWS CANADA

Make your life a lit­tle less stress­ful by mak­ing your home more weather re­sis­tant with this check­list:

Seal those leaks and save money: Keep an eye out for miss­ing or loose shin­gles and gaps around your chim­ney and other open­ings. Check ar­eas around win­dows, doors and the foun­da­tions for cracks.

If you iden­tify ar­eas where wa­ter or air could cause leaks, you’ll save your­self the trou­ble of fu­ture re­pairs. In­stalling weather-strip­ping where ap­pro­pri­ate is also a good way of keep­ing ice from in­trud­ing. Talk to a pro­fes­sional to han­dle any re­pairs you’re not com­fort­able do­ing your­self and ask for project es­ti­mates up front.

Kick the CO to the curb: Check that your car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tors are work­ing prop­erly and re­place old bat­ter­ies be­fore win­ter hits. Use the fan on your stove hood if you cook with a gas-burn­ing oven. Ad­just your burn­ers to en­sure you get a blue flame; a yel­low flame pro­duces more harm­ful emis­sions if you’re us­ing gas.

Re­place your fur­nace fil­ters monthly: If you tend to see an in­crease in your heat­ing bills dur­ing the win­ter months, it’s likely due to a dirty fur­nace fil­ter. Not only that, but a dirty fil­ter will also shorten the life­span of your fur­nace. To avoid this, check and re­place your fil­ters each month in the win­ter. Pleated fil­ters work best by trap­ping more dirt and par­ti­cles.

Not sure if yours needs re­plac­ing? Hold it up to the light and if you can’t see through it, you likely need a new one. Not sure how to lo­cate your fur­nace fil­ter? Read the owner’s man­ual for in­struc­tions.

Clean your gut­ters: Gut­ters help drain wa­ter from the roof of your house. If they’re clogged, they’re more likely to freeze and cause ad­di­tional block­age. When gut­ters are blocked, the melt­ing snow and ice can leak through your roof and could flood the foun­da­tion in your home, caus­ing ad­di­tional dam­age and un­nec­es­sary stress.

Take some time while it’s still mild out to clean the gut­ters, or have a pro­fes­sional roof­ing con­trac­tor take a look for you.

Trim trees around the house: Any long branches that hang close to your house, roof or gut­ters should be pruned be­fore the weather gets too cold. Heavy snow and ice can cause branches to col­lapse eas­ily and po­ten­tially fall on your home, caus­ing dam­age and costly re­pairs.

No mat­ter how much you pre­pare, ac­ci­dents can and do still hap­pen. Get more in­for­ma­tion and make sure you’re prop­erly cov­ered at be­lair di­rect.com

PHOTO SUP­PLIED BY NEWS CANADA

When the weather warms up next week, it’s a good idea to check your gut­ters and clean them if they are full of de­bris. Blocked gut­ters could cause melt­ing snow and ice to leak through your roof. Also make sure to trim your trees around your house.

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