As Jon Snow likes to say, winter is coming. But, boy don’t we already know it in Manitoba. It is not too late to put some effort into your home and make sure it is winter ready. Let’s quickly review four tasks that can help you get ready for the rigid weather ahead.
Check Caulk and Weather Stripping
The stripping and caulk that is found around your , is essential when it comes to keeping the cold outside. Earlier this year, the Department of Energy published an interesting study about heating bills. In the study, they quoted that faulty weather stripping is responsible for about 12% of total home heat loss. Re-caulking and fixing some minor weather stripping gaps and holes around your windows and doors is an easy job. Your local Homedepot store will likely have all the tools you need. Or, you can always hire a local handyman to do the job for you. But hurry up, winter is coming!
This is something that you should be doing all year around. To make sure your family is safe, check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replacing the batteries and cleaning up the dust ought to do it.
Interestingly enough, in Winnipeg, more fires happen during the cold months, then during the warm months. I guess some people still think it is okay to turn on their stoves, leave the stove door open and leave the house. On that note, hopefully your home has a fire extinguisher somewhere where it can be easily reached. Remember, if your extinguisher is six years or older, it should be replaced for a newer one.
This is perhaps the one thing nobody bothers with. If your home has a fireplace that is in use, cleaning up and unclogging the chimney is essential. Creosote is one of the most known fire hazards in the province of Manitoba. There, actually, exists an organization called the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). One of their research papers demonstrated that chimney fires are responsible for nearly 20 deaths a year in Canada. In 2013 alone there were over 22,000 fires that were started due to creosote alone. So, clean up your chimney!
I recommend you get a professional to do that. The months of October and November are about perfect in order to check if your furnace is good to go for the winter. This inspection needs to be completed before the air turns chilly.
Start by checking your furnace filter. This is the easiest part. Just make sure it is clean. Other than that, furnaces are known to develop a variety of problems. Ones that can be spotted by a certified professional. This is why I do not recommend that you inspect your furnace alone.
So, there you have it. Very short list of things you can do in order to ensure the safety of your family before the winter rolls out.