Getting our home ready for winter
There's been a hint of winter in the air lately, and, as a result, Mr. Speedy and I have been turning our thoughts to getting our home all comfy and cozy before the snow starts falling. (Check out our fall home prep for some to-do list inspiration).
We've scheduled our furnace maintenance appointment to hopefully fend off any mid-winter breakdowns, and our plants have received a military haircut.
The BBQ and lawn furniture are ready to be stowed away in the garage, and we've had someone come by to give our roof a little TLC before it got too icy.
Bleeding our radiators turned out to be a bigger job than expected because there was so much air in our system. But, it was also one of the tasks with the biggest pay-off, because they're heating so much more effectively now. No more waking up in the morning to a cool radiator in the bedroom and frozen toes!
We've also picked up some insulating window film to help stretch our heating dollars - but still need to install it. I'm betting it will make a much bigger difference once it's no longer sitting in the box!
Sadly, that's not al our to-do list. We somehow have made it this far into November without owning -- or needing, thank goodness -- snow shovels and salt (did you know you can now buy it scented?), an obvious essential for any homeowner or renter with a walkway.
Our eaves troughs could also use some attention - a job that's been put off because we have yet to buy a ladder (and, also, perhaps, because it's rather unpleasant.)
And, finally, we also need to pull down our screens to store for the winter, a task the CMHC says promotes better air circulation to warm the glass and may help to prevent condensation on windows.
Those are the relatively simple, and mostly DIY, tasks we've got on our radar this winter.
The Home Depot also recommends:
- Weather stripping windows, which they say can offer up to 20 per cent saving on heating and cooling bills (with the simple peel and stick install, even newbie DIYers like us can handle it!).
- Wrapping your home in insulation with a higher R value, to prevent drafts, which is also estimated to reduce bills by 20 per cent - but does require a bit of time and effort.
- Upgrade your lightbulbs to CFLs, if you haven't already, and make sure any new light fixture purchases are Energy Star rated.
- Install/use a programmable thermostat. We've got ours scheduled to turn down during the day when no one is home and overnight while we're sleeping. Home Depot says the average household can save about $180 a year by setting a programmable thermostat!
- Installing water heater blankets and pipe insulation minimizes the amount of heat lost through the walls of the water heater, meaning it will turn on less often and save you money - for about a nine per cent savings on our water heating costs.
And, if you're looking for a bigger savings, and bigger project, you could always install Energy Star windows and doors to help keep the heat in and the cold out this winter.
What's on your winter to do list?