Home To-Do List Before Winter

Prevent Plumbing & Heating Emergencies this Winter

Here are some tips on how to prepare your home for winter so you can avoid issues with your plumbing and heating systems.

1. Shut off water supply (inside) for exterior faucets. Remove and store hoses. 

DIY: The water needs to be turned off and drained out to prevent freeze damage and burst pipes. To do this, you’ll need to first turn off the water supply to the faucet from inside the house.  Exterior faucets should have a separate shutoff valve inside the house, but not all of them do.  On older homes, these valves are typically located at the ceiling somewhere close to the outside faucet.  On newer homes, the valves are typically located right next to the main water valve, and they’re also usually labeled.  Next, open the outdoor hose tap to bleed any remaining water from the system. Close the tap and store your hoses.

2. Make sure carbon monoxide alarms & smoke alarms are installed & working.  

smoke detector of fire alarm in actionTo ensure your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are working you should:

– Replace the batteries once a year, or as soon as the alarm “chirps” warning that the battery is low. Helpful hint: schedule battery replacements on the same day every year, such as the Daylight Savings Time Change, November 6 this year or on the day of your annual furnace inspection.

-Locating a CO alarm outside of each bedroom or sleeping area in your home, and keep bedroom doors closed while you sleep.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that is odourless and colourless that is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels. In an enclosed space, such as a home or garage, even a small amount of CO can lead to serious illness or death. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning can increase during winter when most homes are more tightly sealed shut and fuel-burning appliances are used more often. Learn how to protect yourself against carbon monoxide hazards.

3. Have gas appliances inspected by a certified gasfitter 

If not inspected or serviced regularly, you natural gas furnace could be a potential hazard. Regular furnace maintenance will ensure it is running at peak performance, saving you money on energy bills, and could prevent costly repairs or even an early replacement down the road. Most importantly, having your furnace inspected by an experienced and qualified gasfitter will help you protect what’s most important – your family. Preventative maintenance may be recommended to avoid costly emergency bills this winter and to prevent further repairs.

It is recommended that you have your furnace, hot water heater, fireplace, natural gas range or other fuel-burning appliances checked by a qualified technician regularly. Most manufacturers would recommend they are inspected annually.

4. Insulate your pipes and check seals for plumbing, wiring & vent holes. 

Anything that penetrates the skin of your house, the building envelope, needs to be airtight and insulated. That might include areas where water pipes, electrical wires or any type of venting come outside your house. Here are some tips to seal plumbing and wiring holes. 

5. Replace your furnace

Is it time you replaced your old furnace? If you are thinking about a new high efficiency furnace to save you money on energy bills and repairs, most HVAC companies offer a free in-home estimate and offers products with exceptional track records & warranties.


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