by Ken Richter
on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018 at 11:09am.
Temperatures are dropping...
With the arrival of winter comes the need to prepare for the dark, snowy days ahead. It's time to get that dusty box out of the basement and unload your sweaters, long-johns, toques, mittens and fuzzy socks. Lawn chairs need to be replaced with shovels as flower pots get swapped out for snowmen. Hot soup is about to become your best friend, an electric car starter your most prized possession.
As you prepare yourself for winter, make sure that you also prepare your home for winter. Winterizing your property is incredibly important in making sure that it successfully survives the cold. If you neglect to properly winterize your home, it can get seriously damaged and won't help you stay warm, either. Here are some tips on what to winterize and how to winterize it:
Rain gutters are the biggest culprit of home damage out there. Here is what happens when you don't winterize them: all the dead leaves from the fall build up and block melting snow, which adds weight and water damage to your roof that can collapse it. Grab a spatula and clear out the gutters. Dump a glass of water down them to make sure they aren't blocked anywhere and that the water can flow easily.
Windows help bring in sunlight during the dark winter months, but they also bring in a lot of cold air. Make sure your windows are sealed and closed properly. If you notice cold air is still coming through, you can cover the windows in bubble wrap or specialty plastic insulation. This will also help you save money on your heating bills!
Drain your A/C and crank up the furnace. Draining the A/C helps prevent water from freezing and damaging the system. Even if you're not feeling the cold yet, turn on your heat to make sure your furnace is working properly. You might notice a funky smell at first, but don't worry about it unless it persists. Keep in mind how old your furnace is, because old ones are not energy efficient and could make your winter heating bills skyrocket.
Prepare for an emergency! Calgary is not immune to major, debilitating snow storms. Make sure your pantry is stocked with nonperishables, that you have flashlights and matches handy, water bottle stored and, most importantly, warm clothes! You never know when your car will decide its too cold to start and you could be forced to walk, or when your furnace may malfunction. Be prepared!