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How to Properly Prepare your Home for Winter

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Outside: 
  1. Wash your windows; remove screens. You'll appreciate the extra sunlight: light therapy, for less!
  2. Check the condition of your kitchen hood and bathroom fan filters. This will reduce the risk of unwanted rodents entering your ducts this winter.
  3. Close the outside and inside valves on the water lines to prevent freeze breakage. Remember to check that any remaining water in the pipes has drained.
  4. Clear your leaf-filled gutters. A blockage could prevent water from draining properly and they could break prematurely. If, like many, you find this task inconvenient, install gutter guards, which are sold for about $1.50 per foot.
  5. Your chimney should be swept at least once a year, depending on the moisture content of the wood and the amount burned. Note that a visual check is not enough. If you don't want to do it yourself, choose a chimney sweep certified by the Association professionnelle du chauffage (APC) and expect to pay about 150 $.
  6. Check the overall condition of your roof:
  • Replace outdated or damaged shingles
  • If your roof is flat, check the condition of the drainage hole: it must be free of debris (leaves, rocks, etc.)
  • Also check the condition of the roof flashings (sheet metal pieces that surround the roof). Rusty or damaged flashings can cause water infiltration.
Inside:
  1. Clean baseboard heaters to limit odors when they are used again.
  2. Consider insulating your windows with weather stripping. This will help you save on your electricity bill. Also check the condition of your door weatherstripping. It's better to change them in the fall than in the middle of winter, at -30° Celsius!
  3. If you have an air exchanger, clean the filter or change it before turning the unit back on. The same goes for bathroom vents: this will ensure that you get some fresh air inside.
  4. A seasonal check of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is essential for your safety. Check the batteries, free them from dust. Did you know that these devices must be changed periodically? 
  • Smoke detector: life span between 8 and 10 years, depending on the model
  • Carbon monoxide detector: 5-year warranty, 7-year life span

Check the date of manufacture, usually written on the case.

For more information on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, click here. (CAA Quebec)

Happy Winter!