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Winter Proof Your Home in 6 Easy Steps!

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The 2017 Farmers Almanac is predicting an unusually cold and stormy winter across Canada, which means preparing your home and pockets for harsh and cold conditions are a must and now is the time to do it! These simple steps with minimal cost can save you from dishing out more money and headaches down the road!

STEP ONE: Check caulking and weather stripping…

Spend a bit of time inspecting your windows and doors, feeling for any drafts, gaps in the weather stripping and loose or bad caulk.  A great way to check for drafts is to slowly run a lit candle around the edge of your windows and doors.  A flame that flickers or goes out is a sign that you may need to re-caulk or weather strip that area.

STEP 2: Hang heavier curtains but let the light in…

It’s amazing the difference having a thicker fabric in front of a drafty window can make! However, remember to keep those curtains wide open on sunny days and let the sun do it’s job and heat up the room for you!

STEP 3: Service your furnace now instead of fixing it later…

This simple task usually gets put on the back burner and we seldom think to check for problems until we’re actually faced with one.  A quick and painless service on your furnace (usually around $100) can prevent more expensive problems during the frigid winter!

STEP 4: Check your fireplace and prepare it for the long Winter…

If you have a fireplace that you intend on using, make sure to clean it out before lighting the first fire for the year.  You also want to make sure the flue is always closed tight when not being used, as fireplaces are the number one culprit of cold entering the home and increasing those heating bills!

STEP 5: Change your ceiling fan direction…

Yup, that’s right – so simple and yet seldom done.  Most ceiling fans have 2 directional settings, one of which is perfect for the winter.  Setting your fan to run clockwise will actually push warm air down from the ceiling and circulate it through the room.  A ceiling fan can help lower energy consumption in the winter by up to 10%!

STEP 6: Check and add insulation where needed…

Insulation is very important in keeping down the heating costs and ensuring that your house is not wasting any heat! If you live in an older home, consider adding more insulation to the attic and roof. Did you know that the commonly used fiberglass insulation can lose as much as 50% of its insulating properties over time?  Also, adding insulation to your exterior wall outlets can also help reduce your heat loss.  Check your local hardware store for foam outlet sealers.

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