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Tips for winterizing your home

Tips for winterizing your home

Winter can bring icy winds, frigid temperatures and unwanted critters into your home. Fortunately, by taking the following preventative measures before the big freeze, you can better fight the critters and cold while saving on energy bills and costly repairs down the line.

1. Seal windows and doors.

Small cracks and gaps between window frames and doors can allow water, insects and cold air to creep inside. Protect your home by replacing worn exterior caulk with new weatherproof sealant, installing weatherstripping tape around the interior of windows, and placing draft guards under doors to keep heat from escaping.

2. Clean your furnace filter.

Dirty filters mean your furnace has to work harder. Regularly changing the filters in your central air and heating system can significantly improve its efficiency and longevity, while easing the pressure on your wallet. In most homes, filters should be changed monthly throughout the heating season. Additionally, have your furnace serviced annually to make sure it is working properly.

3. Install CO alarms.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas that is responsible for hundreds of deaths each year, with incidents spiking during winter when we crank up the heat. The only way to detect this poisonous gas is with an alarm. Yet, a survey revealed over half of Canadians do not have CO alarms in their homes. For convenient protection, install alarms with a 10-year sealed battery, like the digital tabletop model from First Alert, which eliminate the need to replace the batteries fora decade.

4. Protect your pipes.

Frozen pipes can burst and cost a fortune to replace. Locate pipes in your home that pass through unheated areas like crawlspaces and insulate them with foam rubber sleeves. In extreme cases, put heating tape on first to ensure that the pipe does not freeze. Also, locate your home’s water shut-off valve so you can shut off the water quickly if a pipe does burst. (NC)

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