How to get your home ready for winter

A frozen faucet is seen on the outside of a house.
Photo 28941112 © Vera08 |

Whether we like it or not, wintery weather is on its way.

As temperatures start to drop, there are a few things you can do to help keep your house warm and dry, and reduce the risk of fire.

Outdoor hoses & faucets

While you’re outside doing the last of your yard work, don’t forget to disconnect your outdoor hoses. Then, drain and shut off the water supply leading to any outdoor faucets – those are the first to freeze.

After turning off the water supply, leave those outdoor taps slightly open for a minute or two to ensure any remaining water drains before it can expand when it freezes.

Inside your home, make sure you know where your main water shut-off valve is. Knowing how to turn it off can save you a headache in case of an emergency.

Interior pipes & insulation

Make sure unheated areas are insulated, like basements, attics and crawl spaces, so you don’t lose heat through those areas. It’s important to make sure any pipes in those areas are also insulated. Foam pipe covers can be found at any local home improvement store.

Outdoor vents

As snow accumulates throughout the winter season, make sure you clear your home’s outdoor vents so they aren’t blocked by snow or ice.

Furnace maintenance

As outdoor temperatures cool, have your furnace serviced by a qualified technician before turning it on for the season. On top of performing routine maintenance on your furnace, a qualified technician can tell you if your furnace poses a carbon monoxide (CO) risk.

A space heater sits on the floor.
Photo 130016340 © Freerlaw |

Fireplaces & portable heaters

As temperatures start to dip, the risk of fire can also increase.

If you have a fireplace, make sure it has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Let your ashes cool down before you remove them.

When you go to sleep, be sure to turn off portable space heaters.

And make sure you keep anything that can burn at least one metre away from these heat sources to minimize the risk of fire.

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