Winter is coming and so it makes perfect sense to start today on your winter home maintenance list.
Using a simple checklist to get all the tasks organized is easy so here are the essentials to look out for:
Clean Out The Gutters and Downspouts
With the leaves now off the trees in Calgary, it's safe to say that they have either landed on your lawn or in your gutters. Clearing out your gutters prevents any debris from clogging up your eavestroughs and allows for proper drainage. *safety is key in this task so call a professional if you unable to use a ladder or access your eavestroughs safely.
Have Your Furnace Checked and Ready
Temperatures are dropping quickly and now is the time to get your furnace in tip-top shape for the long winter. Call a furnace technician or hire a professional to have your furnace checked and given a proper tune-up. As a bonus, having your ducts cleaned increases efficiency and reduces the amount of dust that will accumulate in the next few months.
Hibernate Your Air-Conditioner
Admit it, you won't be using your A/C for a good six months so now is the time to focus on tucking it away properly for the winter. Most A/C units come with an easy disconnect to prevent it from accidently being turned on. Purchase a cover to protect it from the elements and if it's a window type, you should remove it so it doesn't cause a draft.
Chimney & Fireplace Check
Before you dream of roasting marshmallows or cuddling by the fireplace, it's important to have your chimney and fireplace in good working condition. Dangerous gasses can build up inside a chimney so be sure to have a professional inspect your chimney to prevent fires and keep you and your family safe.
Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide
It's always good practice to check both your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors a few times in the year. Before cozy evening by the fireplace happen and the furnace gets set for the winter, be sure to check ever detector on all levels of your home. If you don’t have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on each level, now is the time to go shopping for them.
Windows and Doors
Higher heating bills are imminent in the winter months but see if you can help keep them lower by following a few easy steps. Replace worn weather stripping and fill any gaps your feel near your windows and doors, pipes and faucets. This not only prevents heat from escaping but can also stop cute little critters from calling your place home for the winter.
An easy, fool proof way to care for your lawn before snow arrives is this: rake up all your leaves, mulch them and spread on flower and garden beds for good nutrients or compost them in your green bin. Putting a fall/winter fertilizer on the lawn before the snow hits is a good idea and can help give you a head start in the spring time to a lush, green lawn.
Bring out the machines
It's inevitable: shovels are the new fashion accessory. At our home, we each have one, even the kids. I suggest for easy clearing to purchase ones with the metal edger to help clear right down to the sidewalk. Getting an ice chipper is also a good investment since the City of Calgary bylaw requires ice to be cleared down to bare cement. Having a bag of sand or kitty litter and salt to help melt the icy patches is always a good idea too.
Don't forget your vehicle
Now is the time to throw that snow brush and windshield scraper in the trunk and top up with antifreeze washer fluid. We have a golden rule in our house as well that no matter what, the gas tank must always stay above half in the winter. You never know in Calgary when you will be stuck in traffic and having your tank filled is a good habit in the colder months.
Last but not least, enjoy it while it lasts. Sure, it can be a bit of a nuisance to head out to shovel or feel bundled up for six months of the year, but that being said, winters are beautiful in Calgary. Wear proper clothing, plan some day trips to the mountains and smile when ol' Jack Frost appears in the early mornings. Most of all, stay warm!