Tips to Winterize your home:
When the weather is turning colder, and the leaves are starting to fall, it’s time to start preparing for winter. What can you do to “winterize” your home? Here are nine tips to help you keep warm and safe this winter:
1) Check for leaks. An easy way to find out where heat is leaking out, and cold is seeping in, is to walk around inside your house on a windy day, with a lit incense stick. Hold it near the usual “leaky” areas, such as window and door frames, and electrical outlets. When you find the leaks, you may want to install weather stripping, or caulking to seal the gaps. Foam insulators can be installed behind light switches and electrical outlets.
2) Check your windows. Replace old or inefficient ones to prevent heat from escaping, or seal drafty windows with clear plastic. Hanging thermal curtains can also help to prevent drafts.
3) Check your furnace. Turn it on to make sure it’s working properly. This is a good time to contact a professional to get it cleaned and tuned. Filters should be changed often during the winter, as dirty filters reduce air flow and can cause fires. And if your furnace is more than 10 years old, you may want to consider upgrading to a new energy-efficient model.
4) Check your ducts. Homes with central heating can lose heated air before it reaches the vents if the ductwork is not properly connected or insulated, especially if it has to pass through any unheated spaces. And remember to have the ducts cleaned every few years to get rid of built up dust and hair.
5) Check your ceiling fans. For winter, reverse any ceiling fans so they’re blowing warm air downwards. And close your closet doors. Keeping them closed means you’re not heating any unnecessary space.
6) Check your pipes. If you have water pipes running through unheated areas of the house, wrap them with foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. Shut off the water to your hose bibs with a turnoff valve inside your house, and drain the lines.
7) Check your fireplaces. Consider capping the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds. Arrange to have the chimney cleaned to remove soot and creosote. Make sure the damper opens and closes properly.
8) Check your foundation. Rake away any debris, and seal up cracks or other entry points for water or mice.
9) Check your roof, gutters, and downspouts. Replace worn shingles or tiles. Check flashing to make sure water can’t enter the home. Clean out the gutters with a scraper or spatula, and rinse with a hose. Consider installing leaf guards or adding extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.
Taken from http://www.squareoneinsurance.ca/