How to Save Money & Protect Your Home from Winter Damage
The weather in BC has been especially unpredictable this year. As the temperatures get colder, it’s better to plan ahead to avoid the unpleasant surprises that can come with owning a home in the Winter. We have a few suggestions to help you protect against the elements this season. These tips will also help you winter-proof your home, save energy and your hard-earned cash!
Program your Thermostat
Did you know that most modern thermostats are programmable? Utilizing this feature helps you avoid wasting energy and racking up a big hydro bill during winter. You can program the thermostat to warm before you wake up, lower during the day when you are out, heat up just in time for you getting home, and lower again while you’re sleeping. Remember not to lower the temperature too much or you’ll make the furnace work harder when you turn it up again using more power and defeating your efforts If you plan to take a winter vacation, make sure to set the temperature to at least 13°C (about 55°F) to prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting while you’re away.
Weatherproof your Windows
Just because you don’t feel a draft, doesn’t mean your windows don’t need inspecting. Check your windows each year and patch any cracks or holes with fresh caulking. For even more protection from the cool air, consider sealing your windows with a thin layer of plastic and waterproof tape. Even one or two neglected windows could be making your furnace work harder than it needs to — and you might be surprised just how much you could save by doing away with that draft.
Take Preventative Measures for your Plumbing
The pipes most at risk are those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, and garages. But even pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls can freeze. Wherever necessary, cover exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping to help protect them from frozen temperatures and decrease the chances of them freezing and bursting. As well, carefully check your attic and crawlspaces for frost accumulation or moisture build-up.
Clean Out the Gutters Regularly
A common house-maintenance chore many of us dread is cleaning out our gutters. New homeowners may not realize keeping your gutters clear can prevent serious problems in the winter. Leaving clutter in the gutters can cause dams. In the cooler temperatures, these dams may freeze, then thaw and refreeze. The water may then slowly seep into the roof and cause damage, and who wants to do house repairs during the winter months? So, it’s better to be prepared than worry about a possible mid-season disaster.
Minimize Liability at Home for Guests
Icy pathways can be dangerous for winter guests and the risk of someone slipping or falling could be a liability. Make sure that these hazardous areas are not a danger for others. Home insurance can help protect you from claims, but to prevent an accident, here are a few simple things to consider: sand or salt pathways, navigate your visitors away from icicle-endangered areas and prune the trees that carry a lot of weight of ice and snow to avoid injury.
Consider home insurance to ensure your home is safe and protected in the Winter. Get in touch with a Johnston Meier Insurance specialist, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions and set you up with the right insurance.