Prepare Your Home for the Winter

Decorating your home for the winter is fun and exciting, but it can distract you from important winter maintenance. That can lead to some very unfortunate and expensive accidents, so it’s best to enact your maintenance first and decorate after—unless you’ve just bought a fully insulated, new townhome in Ottawa. Just as you dress warmly when you go outdoors in the snow, insulating and protecting your house from the cold is a necessity for any responsible homeowner.

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Check for Air Drafts Coming from Your Doors

The cracks between your doors and the outside world are a prime source of air leakage. Taking the time to find these leaks isn’t very difficult, but it is well worth the investment in both time and money.

A high-tech laser infrared thermal reader is by far the best and most accurate way to find leaks, but they can be expensive. If you or a neighbor don’t have one to use, a candle is the next best thing. Light it, then watch for the flame to blow away from the door. Wherever the candle flame moves is where you may have a leak.

To deal with these leaks, seal them from the inside using foam or felt in the door frame. A door sweep is also useful for preventing air drafts.

Explore the Attic

Many homeowners don’t check their attics very often, so it’s not uncommon for attic air leaks to go undetected. The best way to find these holes is by pulling out the existing insulation in your attic and searching for cutouts in the drywall. Cracks in the drywall or cutouts for electrical and plumbing appliances are susceptible to leaking air. Also inspect the attic for electrical wiring, vent ducts, and other exposed areas for additional insulation.

To fix attic holes, turn to caulk. It’s is a cheap and effective way to plug up holes in the drywall and other cracks you may find.

Furnace Filters

Inspecting air filters is a routine part of maintenance for most homes, though it’s easy to forget your furnace filters since they’re not as visible. Ideally, you’ll want to replace your furnace filters every month to improve efficiency and airflow. This is especially important during the winter when your furnace is constantly running. Replacing these filters doesn’t just enhance energy efficiency, it reduces the chances of an expensive malfunction or breakdown in your heater unit.

Reduce Your Hot Water Expenses

Heating up air and water during the winter requires more work and energy for your home. Lowering the temperature of your hot water will reduce the strain it puts on the heater while lowering your energy costs. 140 degrees is the most common temperature setting, but changing that to around 120 will do just fine.

Cover the Outdoor Hose Connectors

Insulating your hot water pipes and water heater is also essential during the cold seasons. Doing so will reduce the energy required to heat the water. It will also prolong your pipe lifespan by reducing thermal expansion stress.

Insulating your water heater is easy; just wrap it with one or two large blankets. Pipes are easy to protect with inexpensive, flexible foam insulation and sleeves.

Cover the Outdoor Hose Connectors

Protecting your cold-water pipes is just as important as your hot water ones. Prevent your water pipes from freezing in the cold winter air by disconnecting your hoses and covering the faucets. The two most common options are wrapping them in a towel or shielding them with foam insulators.

Tired of the excessive weatherproofing you need to do to your house every season? Phoenix Homes has a wide selection of brand new houses in Ottawa and new condominiums in Ottawa that are fully insulated and prepared for every season of the year.

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