Prepare and protect your home from Edmonton’s sub-zero temperatures with these helpful indoor and outdoor winter maintenance tips:
Inside Your Home:
1. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Using your fans reverse switch, set your fan to turn in a clockwise rotation. This will force the rising heat down and away from the ceiling, keeping your home nice and toasty (without the need to crank the heat).
2. Detect For Drafts
Speaking of cranking the heat, get a handle on your utility bills ahead of time by checking your home for drafts. We recommend paying particular attention to your doors and windows, as they’re often the biggest culprits of cold air entry.
3. Protect Your Pipes
Because water expands as it freezes, any remaining H2O in your pipes can cause them to burst. Winterize your pipes near doors, windows and other unheated areas of your home – and don’t forget to turn off your outdoor shut-off valve.
4. Adjust Your Humidity Level
Did you know your home’s humidity level greatly influences your air quality? High humidity levels put your family at risk for dust mites, mould and other allergens, whereas low humidity can lead to respiratory problems, dry skin, etc. Experts recommend keeping your home’s humidity level above 30% in the winter and below 50% in the summer (but somewhere in between at all times).
5. Program Your Thermostat
Because it adjusts itself automatically according to your schedule (i.e. when you go to bed, when you’re at work, etc.), a programmable thermostat makes taking charge of your utility bills a whole lot easier.
6. Prep Your Entryways
Keep slushy messes outside where they belong by placing a mat both in and outside your entryways. You may also want to consider adding a wet shoe tray to catch any leftover melting snow (your flooring will thank you).
7. Drain Your Water Heater
Draining your hot water heater at least once a year will stop sediment build-up. This is important to preventing clogs which can cause your water heater to malfunction or break.
Outside Your Home:
1. Inspect Top to Bottom
Visually inspect your home for any signs of trouble. This could include your roof (damaged or missing shingles), gutters (leaves and debris), siding (broken or missing panels) and your foundation (cracks or upheaving).
2. Bring the Outside In
Take care to cover or store warm-weather outdoor items such as patio furniture, outdoor hoses, flowerpots (which can crack in colder temperatures) and gardening tools.
3. Prevent Potential Ice Damming
Ice damming occurs when melting snow or ice begins to freeze and accumulate on your roof’s overhang. Not only are they expensive to remove, but they can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home. See How To Stop and Ice Dam Before It Starts for more information.
4. Cover Your Air Conditioner
Although your (outdoor) air conditioner was built to withstand the elements, accumulating snow, falling ice, and other debris can create problems come summer. Be sure to protect it with a breathable, waterproof cover.
5. Get Set For Snow Removal
Have your shovels and/or snow blower ready to go before the flurries really start to fly. If you prefer to leave this winter chore to the professionals, now is the time to hunt for a snow removal service.
6. Check Outdoor Lighting
Prevent potential (avoidable) slips and falls by ensuring your outdoor lighting is working correctly. In addition to replacing any burnt out or missing bulbs, clean the lenses of your lighting fixtures – they shine brighter and look better.
7. Investigate Your Window Wells
Window wells service to protect your basement windows from built-up snow and water ingress. Check to see that the wells sit snugly against your home’s foundation and keep an eye out for any cracks or breaks.
For more cold-weather related home maintenance tips, check out our previous post: 12 Essential Home Maintenance Tips For This Fall.
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