Here comes the season of the colourful leaves on our yards and bringing joy to our hiking expeditions! But as you know, fall is not all fun and games. The psychological preparation for the harshness of the winter is not easy for many of us. In addition to this, we have to roll up our sleeves to go through all the maintenance works our houses need to resist to cold, snow and ice. Fall is the perfect timing to inspect your house’s general condition by following this quick and easy guide, which is the first of two articles as the exterior of your house also need some loving care!
First: Get Rid of Air Drafts!
Warm air leaks and cold air infiltration can cost a lot in terms of electricity and cause discomfort. If you felt some air drafts last winter, it is time to fix the situation! Rest assured, you can control it in a few simple steps: you simply need to follow the procedure!
The first step is to check all doors and windows tightness and caulk them if necessary. You might as well install weather-strips to avoid air infiltration and keep heat inside.
If you have doubts after your house’s visual inspection, why not give a try to infrared cameras? This high technology solution detects any air, and even water leaks!
Stay Warm… and safe!
Heating systems maintenance is critical before winter. Here are some elementary tips for the most usual heating systems:
Electric baseboard heaters and wall-mounted convectors
Vacuum the electric baseboard heaters or wall-mounted convectors to remove dust. This reduces the fire hazard and the potentially toxic bad smells that could occur in the first few usages.
Forced-Air Electric Furnace
If you are using a central heating system, clean or replace the forced-air electric furnace’s filter, as well as the one from the integrated humidifier. Remove the grills from all the heat register and return air duct, and vacuum inside the ducts. If necessary, ask for a certified contractor to inspect and clean your system.
Ensure Air Quality!
Maintenance of air exchange system or heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is also critical before winter, as a bad function can be damageable for air quality. Make sure to clean the filter thoroughly.
While You’re there, Might as Well Clean the Exhaust Air Vents!
Remove lint or dust in the draft blockers for the dryer, range hood, bathroom ventilators, etc.
The Water Heater Also Needs TLC!
Check your water heater for any water leak that could result from corrosion over the years. If you find a leak, contact a certified contractor.
As for the insulation, be aware that recent water heaters are already really well insulated, but you can still add an insulation jacket in order to reduce your energy consumption.
Clean the Chimney and Get Some Wood Ready for Winter!
If you are using a fireplace, inspect it thoroughly and make sure nothing is stuck in the chimney, such as branches or bird nests. If necessary, get your chimney cleaned by a professional in order to avoid any fire hazard. The chimney needs to be cleaned every year if you are using your fireplace regularly.
Also, make sure you have enough fuelwood! To protect it against humidity, pile it up on pallets and cover it with a plastic tarp.
Read our next article to know what needs to get done outside your house.
On the menu: wall insulation and maintenance, foundation and roof inspection and repair, exterior valves and pipes maintenance, rain gutters cleaning, swimming pool closing, and even your garden, grass, shrubs and plants preservation!