Winter is here. The Greater Toronto Area has already experienced a series of cold and snowy weather. The safety and comfort of you and your family should be a top priority at all times, that is why we have put together these tips to help you prepare your home this winter season. Most of these ideas can be implemented at little or no cost to you.
Image Credit: Angieslist
1. Tune Up Your Heating System
Request for a technician to visit your home and inspect your heating system to make sure it is clean and functioning efficiently. “For about $80 to $100, a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in good repair, and that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency”, says Pat Mertz Esswein, Associate Editor at Kiplinger.
After the technician has certified your system to be efficient, make sure you test it before the technician leaves. Increase and decrease the heat couple of times, and check all the rooms to make sure they all have an adequate flow of hot air.
2. Inspect Your Roof
You definitely don’t want to start the winter with a leaking roof. Make sure you check all areas of your house to see if there is evidence of any leaks coming from the roof. If you identify any, please hire a handyman to repair the leak. You can find reliable handymen through platforms like Yelp or Homestars. Please check out these Top 9 Tips for Hiring a Handyman at thefuntimes guide.com.
3. Install Weatherstripping
Make sure you check the exterior doors of your home for cold air leaks as this could cause an illness and high electricity bill. You don’t need to call an expert for this. You can do it yourself by moving a lit candle around the door frame, and examine the direction of the flame. If the flame blows toward you, it is a clear indication of cold air leaks. According to Marilyn Lewis from Money Talk News, you can seal a drafty door by installing foam or felt weather-stripping inside the door frame. You can purchase these products from local hardware stores like The Home Depot, Rona, or Lowe’s.
4. Install a Programmable Thermostat
“Through proper use of a programmable thermostat (using the four pre-programmed settings) you can save about $180 every year in energy costs”, says Energystar. A programmable thermostat gives you the flexibility to set your home temperature at different levels. You can set the temperature low at times that you will be away from home and high when you plan to be home. No expertise is required in setting the thermostat. The instructions are very straightforward and easy to follow. You can get a great Honeywell programmable thermostat from Canadian Tire for $72.
5. Replace Furnace Filter
The are great benefits from changing your furnace filter regularly one of it being cleaner air. The question now is, how often should you change your furnace filter?
Image Credit: Angieslist
According to Angieslist, you need to ask yourself the following 4 questions to determine if it is time to change your filter:
i) What kind of furnace filter do you have? Some manufacturers recommend that homeowners should change their filters monthly, while manufacturers of expensive and more durable filters recommend 6 months usage before replacement.
ii) Do you have allergies? If any occupant in your house has an allergy, you should change your filter more often than recommended.
iii) Are there pets in the house? Most cats and dogs shed and you find their hairs at every corner of the house. Therefore, you should consider changing your filters more often than recommended if you have pets.
iv) Do you care about saving money? Studies have shown that changing your filter more often saves you money by lowering your energy consumption.
If you are planning to move into your new home this winter you should start finding a reputable moving company well in advance and you should also make sure you prepare your new home for the winter as this is paramount to your family’s health and well-being.
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