How to Prepare Your House for Cold Weather?

As Vancouver enters the rain season, and some areas start to see some snow, it is important to prepare your house for the weather to save you money and frustration.

Below is a quick list for you to work with your landlord or as a house owner to have your home in a good shape for the winter to come.

Indoor Preparation:

-          Smoke Alarm: test them out regularly. If there are some don’t work, notify your landlord, and for the battery-type smoke alarm, make sure they have a set of fresh battery.

-          Fire Extinguisher: a small one may be good for kitchen and garage.

-          Heat: make sure the heat never goes below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius, especially when you are away.

-          Furnace Air Filter: change them monthly can help reduce your gas bills.

-          Insulation: check your windows, doors, and attic entrance for proper seal and insulation.

-          Fireplace: clean the chimney each year by a Wood Energy Trained Technician to prevent chimney fires.

-          Away: if you will be away, let your landlord know and leave an emergency number.

Outside Preparation:

-          Storm windows: install if applicable.

-          Vent to Crawl Space: close them.

-          Water Hoses: drain the hoses to prevent cracking from ice.

-          Water Supply: Shut off all outside taps, and then open the tap to prevent water lines from freezing.

-          Thaw Out Freezing Lines: do not use open flame to thaw as it may cause explosion and create fire.

-          Bursting pips: turn off the main water shutoff valve (ask your landlord before hand), and if hot water line breaks, also close the valve on the top of the water heater. Call the trusted plumber when needed.

-          Caulking: check outside windows and doors to stop cold air penetration.

-          Storm Chains or Damping Pistons: Prevent strong winds from blowing a storm door off or damaging the building.

-          Gutter: keep them clean to have good water drainage, and prevent water overflow and freezing in the gutter.


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