After one of the best ever summers we have experienced, now is the time to get your house in order and prepare for the cooler winter months ahead.
Traditionally we have had weather that has allowed us to spend time outside during the month of October. This is a good time to take advantage of the "moderate weather" before the first frost arrives. There are many things you can do to prepare your home for the winter months. I have listed a few you may find helpful.
Walk around your home and look for obvious cracks you may see in your foundation, or where pipes or wires go in and out of your home. Do these areas need caulking and sealing? These repairs are very inexpensive and will help prevent heat escaping from your home. Another advantage to sealing the cracks, will help prevent rain and water entering which may freeze and cause further damage.
When conducting your walk around your house, look at your paint on the siding etc. Is it peeling or blistering? If so, another repair you can do to save money in the long run. If you haven't had your roof checked in the last few years, is moss building up, or do you have any cracked or broken tiles. Employ a licensed, certified roofing company to inspect the roof and make any repairs needing to be done.
Clean your gutters and downspouts, flush with water if you aren't sure the the downspouts are clear. Inspect any joints to see if they need caulking to stop water from leaking.
Are there any garden tools you have been using, that are stacked up against the house? Put them away and keep the outside of your home clear. While a lot of snow is not a tradition in Vancouver, you don't need garden tools etc to be in the way, when shovelling any snow that may fall. Drain garden hoses so they don't freeze and crack during the winter months. Take the time to turn off any outdoor water taps from the inside that may freeze.
Check any outdoor furniture on your patios. Does it need to be cleaned, covered or put away to protect it. Any pots you have on your patios, should be cleaned and if possible and practical, emptied to stop the soil from potentially freezing and cracking the pots.
Windows and doors inside should be inpected to determine if any air is leaking from this source. In most cases you should be able to feel any drafts. Most improvement stores will be able to help you decide what type of weather stripping and caulking will help cut down on these drafts and ultimately save you energy costs.
If your heating system has been shut off all summer, whan was the last time it was serviced by a licensed heating company? Do the filters if you have any , need to be changed? There are some addtiional tips on the websites for BC Hydro and Terasen gas to help you with this matter. When was the last time you changed your batteries in your smoke detectors? Some experts recommend they should be changed yearly.
Just a few tips to help you save energy and be safe and warmer during the winter months.