How to Winterize Your House

It will be winter before we know it, and there are some important things to do at home before that first snowfall. Winterizing your house can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run, as proper maintenance improves the value of your property. 

Here are some handy tips for preparing your home for an Ottawa winter.

 

Check your Furnace and Dryer Vents

Start by taking a walk around the outside of your house, checking exterior vents. Make sure that air can flow through, and that none of the ventilation points are blocked by debris. If you notice a buildup of debris inside the vent shaft (which can happen regularly with dryers), now is a good time to book a professional service call to have it cleaned. 

Change the filters on your furnace at least every three months in wintertime, and remember to regularly service the unit according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you think your furnace may need service, we’d be happy to refer you to a trusted HVAC technician.   

 

Winterize your Windows

It’s time to take down your window screens and store them for the season. Doing this can not only extend the life of your screens, but also prevent ice buildup between the screen and the window. 

As you remove the screens, check to make sure there are no gaps in the caulking around your windows. A leaky window can cost you a bundle in lost heat -- or worse, lead to water damage. 

 

Prevent Snow Buildup 

Some areas of our houses are more vulnerable than others when it comes to snow buildup. Basement window wells and concrete steps are two prime examples. 

You can prevent the buildup of ice and snow around concrete steps with regular shoveling maintenance, or by tarping off steps that you don’t intend to use during the snowy months. 

For window wells, consider installing plastic snow shelters (available at your local hardware store) to keep snow and ice from piling up around your basement windows. Doing so can even keep your home safer, in the event of an emergency where a window must be used as an exit. 

 

Plug any Gaps or Holes

As temperatures drop, critters are looking for a warm place to nest for the winter. Keep birds, rodents, and other creepy crawlies out of your home by inspecting the exterior for holes, cracks, and gaps where animals can get in. Make sure the weather stripping around exterior doors is secure, and that the soffiting below your roof is solid. 

 

Get Ready for Snow

How you manage an Ottawa snowfall will impact your home for better or for worse. Before those flakes start falling, take the time to maintain your snow removal equipment: shovels, snowblowers, salt, ice scrapers, etc. Don’t wait until the last second to service or refuel your snowblower, or to dig your shovel out of the basement. 

 

If you need help getting your property ready for the coming season, let us know. We’d be happy to put you in touch with experienced HVAC, home repair, or snow removal professionals who can help maintain the value of your home for years to come. 

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