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  • Writer's pictureJamie Ostby

Preparing Your Home For Winter In Calgary

While we may all still be in denial, one way or another winter is upon us. The -22ºC morning we had on Tuesday was enough to prove that! And since tomorrow looks like a beautiful day, why not take advantage of it by prepping your house for winter by completing these 14 things...

  1. Have your furnace professionally serviced. A routine maintenance check each autumn will help ensure your furnace is running properly and efficiently. Also, if you have an older thermostat, consider replacing it with a programmable one to save money on heating costs.

  2. Cover your patio furniture. Get your patio furniture protected, but make sure you wait until a clear, warm day to cover it so you don't trap moisture on it.

  3. Turn your humidity down. There's nothing worse than waiting until the first cold snap hits and discovering your windows all iced up. Check your humidity and turn it low if not off.

  4. Inspect all windows and doors for leaks. In order to prevent heat loss, make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed. Check the weather-stripping around windows and door frames, and replace where necessary. Also check for drafts and caulk both inside and out where necessary, to keep the heat in and the cold out.

  5. Clean out your gutters. It's important your eaves are free of any debris such as leaves, dirt and sticks. Clogged gutters prevent the draining of rain and melting snow which could result in household leaks. Also, make sure your downspouts extend away from your house by at least five feet to ensure that water runs away from your house and not towards it.

  6. Inspect the roof. While cleaning your eaves, inspect your roof for any missing, loose or damaged shingles. If your roof needs attention call a roofer to help you with the repairs (don't hesitate to call us for referrals). Also ask them to look at the caulking around the chimney and air vents.

  7. Turn off any faucets outside. Water left undrained can freeze, which can cause the pipes to burst. Disconnect your garden hose and drain the remaining water.

  8. Trim your bushes and trees. Make sure any overgrown bushes or trees are trimmed back away from your house and electrical wires. This will help decrease your risk of property damage and power problems.

  9. Fertilize The Lawn. Every lawn benefits from a feeding of winter fertilizer made for grass. It's actually best to winterize your lawn with two separate feedings: one application in late summer/early fall and the second application during late fall. But something is better than nothing so if you've missed the first, make sure to get this one in.

  10. Do a walk-around and look for access areas for critters. It's going to get cold out and your garage, attic, basement or shed is the perfect winter home for mice and birds. Make sure all vent covers are in place, look up at your soffit and fascia and make sure there are no holes that will allow birds to get in.

  11. Prepare for snow removal. Did out the snowblower and fire it up before the big one hits. Make sure it's ready for that snowy morning. If it's not, then get it repaired now. Also take inventory of your salt and shovel situation. You know you won't be able to find a shovel after the first BIG snowstorm hits.

  12. Winterize irrigation and air-conditioning systems. Make sure to call a professional in to do the job. In real estate we often get requests for receipts to prove consistent and proper winterization of these systems during the sale process. Plan now so it doesn't bite you later.

  13. Have your chimney cleaned or your gas fireplace maintenanced. Be ready for your first cozy night and prevent any unwelcome surprises ahead of time. This is especially important with wood burning fireplaces as this will prevent chimney fires and having carbon monoxide from creeping into your home.

  14. Check your insulation. The interior ceilings, walls and floors in your home should feel warm and dry. Do a touch test or hire someone to do a thermal reading for you. Replace or add new insulation to any areas that might be inadequate.

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