Although Fall has just begun, it won’t be long before the winter of Toronto is upon us. You may have gotten your coat out of moth balls, but have you turned your attention to your house? The ice, snow and cold temperatures can play havoc on your house in addition to increasing your heating bills.
Here are some tips to help you keep warmer without turning up the heat this winter:
First, look to see if there is any uneven areas or sagging. This could indicate a problem with the structure, the rafters or the roof sheeting. If your roof is shake or shingle, look for cracks in the wood or missing shakes. If the roof is asphalt, look for missing shingles or bare patches where the lamination has eroded. If the roof is tar and gravel, make sure no tar shows through. And if your house is a split level, don’t forget to check the joint where the roof of the first story meets the wall of the second story.
According to Hydro One, up to 40 per cent of home heat loss in winter is due to air leakage, and if you added up all the cracks and leaks in the average Canadian home it would be like having a hole in your wall the size of a basketball! On a breezy day, walk around with a candle to all your doors and windows and check for leaks.
For protecting your home from various damages and for security reasons, you should have your home inspected regularly (once a year) and as Vancouver locksmith services provider recommend you, ignore overlooking little things that can cause you much bigger home improvement problems later.
3. Furnace Filters
Replace your furnace filters at least once/month. Dirty filters can make your heater less efficient and cause your bills to rise. Consider switching to a permanent electrostatic filter which can trap about 88% of the debris (compared to 10 – 40%) and is much better at trapping the bacteria, mold, viruses and pollen that can cause allergies. Or think about a HEPA filter, which can trap up to 99% of airborne particles. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have furnaces cleaned and tuned annually.
4. Programmable Thermostat
Lower your house temperature while you’re at work or sleeping. .. you won’t notice the drop but your heating bill could be cut by 10%.
5. Clean your gutters
Clear the debris and leaves from your gutters and hose them out. This way the winter’s rain and melting snow can drain. Clogged drains and ice from our Toronto rainfalls can cause an unwanted waterfall in your home.
6. Reverse your fan
Does your fan have a switch so it can go clockwise? If you can reverse the blades, the air circulating near the ceiling can be pushed downward and cut your heating costs as much as 10%!
7. Winterize your a/c
Remember the air conditioner that has been running all summer? It’s time to drain the hoses and air conditioner pipes. If your unit has a water shutoff valve, go ahead and turn that off. And if it’s a window unit, store it so you don’t have cold drafts all winter and an easy entrance for burglars.
8. Protect your pipes
A burst pipe can cause a nightmare. Make sure the water lines to your sprinklers are drained and your outside hoses are unhooked.
9. Lower the temperature on your water heater
Although most water heaters are set at 140 degrees, lowering the temperature to 120 degrees will still keep you toasty warm and reduce your water heating costs by 6% to 10%. Think about a tankless water heater or going solar!
10. Consider a storm door
A storm door can increase energy efficiency by 45%, by sealing drafts and reducing air flow.
11. Add more insulation
You can never have too much insulation. Add more insulation between walls, and make sure your attic floor and basement ceiling are well covered.
Whether your house is wood sided, stucco or brick, it pays to give the siding a good once-over every fall. Check for peeling paint on wood and stucco, cracks in the stucco and loose mortar on brick. These can mean your siding needs to be re-painted. If your mortar is crumbling, you may need to repoint the bricks.
If your roof leaks, it can spell disaster to the interior of your home. Let The Cutting Edge Roofing come out and inspect it before winter sets in. Roof repairs are probably not a good do-it-yourself project. We’ll help you protect your investment and prevent issues that can occur as a result of our rugged winters. Call us today at one of our two locations in Durham at 905-686-9977 or Toronto at 416-607-6376 at or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Robert Landry is co-owner/partner of The Cutting Edge Roofing in Pickering, Ontario, Canada. Robert has more than 25 years’ experience in the commercial and residential roofing industry and has led the company to its current status as an award-winning roofing provider with a Best of 2012 Homestar Award in the Roofing Division. He is avid ice hockey fan and enjoys spending his free time with his family.