In our first article, we discussed 7 ways to winterize your Vancouver Island home this winter. Now it’s time to consider the next 7 ways in this series.
Tip #8 Seal Windows and Doors
Seal windows and doors using weather stripping and caulk. All windows and doors allow air, wind, and cold to pass through. The “R” Value of your windows and doors refers to how much of this they will prevent, but even the best windows and doors will still only stop a fraction of both from entering. Taking additional action to increase their efficiency will go a long way to increasing the heat efficiency of your home. If you have thermal-lined, or even heavy curtains, now is the time to hang the. Dig out those door draft blockers, or try using a towel. It may not be pretty, but neither is a heating bill for hundreds of dollars.
Tip #9 Clean Your Gutters & Downspouts
Hire someone to clean them, do it yourself, bribe a friend. It doesn’t matter how they get done, it just matters that they get done. Clogged gutters cause problems with roofs, walls, drywall and siding if left unchecked. Rainstorms will quickly highlight where the problems are for you, but by then, it’s too late to do much about it for the season. A pro-active approach will save you thousands.
Tip #10 Trim the Trees
Trim any trees with branches that hang close to your home. If the trees are reaching up into your electrical wires, you’ll need to hire a professional to take care of this for you. There are many qualified contractors to handle this on Vancouver Island. Be sure to hire one with a good reputation.
Tip #11 Check Your Hot Water Tank Settings
When the cold weather arrives, it will require more energy to heat up, and maintain the heat in your hot water tank. You can reduce this by insulating your hot water tank with a specially designed insulating blanket, or simply reducing the temperature a degree or two. Doing so now will greatly reduce the cost of heating your water this winter.
Tip #12 Remove Portable AC Units
If your AC Unit is portable, remove them from windows now. If you have yours mounted and don’t want to remove it, you can purchase a special winter cover for these that will protect it from the elements and prevent drafts at the same time.
Tip #13 Upgrade Your Thermostat
Consider investing in a programmable thermostat. There are units on the market such as the Nest Thermostat that will learn your behaviour and set the temperature automatically. It will also recognize when you leave, or return home and adjust the temperature accordingly. The manufacture suggests you will save 30% on your heating. Yes, these units are in excess of $300 to purchase, but they are easily installed by a homeowner, and if your home averages $100 or more a month to heat in winter, they’ll pay for themselves in months.
Tip #14 Move Things Around
Moving your furniture away from furnace and heating vents allows heat and air to circulate more efficiently while minimizing the risk of a fire hazard.
Winterizing your home can lower the cost to heat your home. Following these simple 14 tips will do not only that, but also improve your peace of mind, increase the longevity of your home, and making winter far more palatable. If you start now, you’ll have plenty of time to get these done before the worst of winter arrives.