Five Things to Tackle Before the Temperature Drops in Winter 2019

Published on October 16, 2019


 

There’s so much to love about fall; the beautiful fall leaves changing colour, sweater weather, pumpkin patches, and comfort food. But the cooler weather also brings the harsh reality that winter 2019 is slowly creeping up, and there’s a lot to do around the house before it rolls in.

 

Winter 2019 will bring ice cold temperatures, wind chills, and snow. Your home needs all the help it can get to prepare for the harshest months of the year! Here’s our list of the top 5 things you should tackle before winter rolls in:

1. Seal Any Cracks or Leaks

It can be costly to heat your home, but it doesn’t have to be! Chances are your home is allowing the warm air to escape through cracks or leaks throughout your home. Before the cold air makes its way through Ontario, seal up the cracks or leaks around your home to avoid higher heating bills this winter.

 

If you’re not sure where to start, schedule an energy audit, or energy assessment, on your home. Your energy audit will be conducted by a Registered Energy Advisor, who will take a look at both the inner and outer workings of your home, and they’ll be able to determine the overall energy efficiency of your home. The energy audit also includes a blower door test! A blower door test is the most effective way to pinpoint exactly where your home isn’t properly sealed. During the blower door test, a fan is placed in the main doorway. The fan forces the air from the inside of your home to the outside, this then causes exterior air back in through the cracks or leaks. Your Registered Energy Advisor will show you exactly where the air is coming back in (you’ll be able to feel the movement in the air).

 

After your energy audit and blower door test, seal up the cracks by caulking or weather stripping the main areas of concern. Caulking sets best in temperatures above 7°C, so we suggest getting started on this before the temperature drops!

2. Make Sure Your Heating System is Ready

Your heating system gets quite a workout in the winter months, so now is the best time to make sure it’s running at its best! Be sure to regularly replace the filters in the unit to keep it running as efficiently as possible. Further, you should schedule maintenance on your furnace to be sure everything is running as it should. The last thing you want is for your furnace to malfunction when the temperature drops!

 

If your furnace is older, it may be time to consider replacing it with a newer, more energy efficient model. Now is a great time to consider upgrading your furnace to a high efficiency model because you can take advantage of the current rebates! The Home Efficiency Rebate offers up to $5,000 in home energy rebates for things like furnaces, air sealing, insulation, and windows and doors. The first qualification step in the Home Efficiency Rebate is to have an energy audit completed on your home. Be sure to contact BSG to schedule your energy audit before you get started on any replacements or renovations!

3. Check Your Insulation

Insulation may be the most important aspect of overall home comfort and energy efficiency. There are three major places where insulation is key to protect the inside of your home from the harsh winter weather: the attic, the basement, and the exterior walls. Insulation can be a rather large renovation, but the great news is there are rebates to help with the cost of installing or upgrading the insulation in your home. The Home Efficiency Rebate offers up to $3500 in rebates for insulation measures alone.

 

Attic insulation plays a major role in keeping the warm, heated air inside of your home. Along with optimal attic insulation, proper ventilation also protects your roof and eaves trough during the winter months. Without proper insulation and ventilation, the warm air from inside your home escapes to the attic, this then heats the roof enough to melt the snow sitting on top. The melted snow runs down to your eavestrough and then freezes as it reaches the cold air. This process repeats, causing ice dams to form along the eaves. Another tip is to make sure your eaves troughs are cleaned out, so any water that does enter the eaves will easily move its way through to the downspouts.

 

Basement insulation is just as important, as it protects your home from the cold ground. With proper basement insulation and vapour barrier, you keep the heat inside of your home, and the cold air out. The vapour barrier also helps keep moisture out of the basement!

4. Shut off and Drain outside Faucets

Preparing your outdoor faucets is an important part in readying your home for winter. If left untouched, the pipe can rupture inside your walls potentially causing devastating damage. Start by walking around the exterior of your home to locate all of the faucets. Be sure to remove any hoses and drain the remaining water out of the pipes and faucets.

 

If interior pipes are located near windows or doors, or in an uninsulated area of the home, be sure to insulate the pipes before winter arrives to prevent the pipes from bursting.

5. Change the Batteries in the Smoke Detector

Winter 2019 is the perfect time to change the batteries in all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Be sure to test them to make sure they’re all working properly.

 

Don’t forget that you should have a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home. This is especially important in the winter as the furnace is running extensively, and there’s minimal ventilation.

 

 

If you’d like to schedule an energy assessment on your home before winter 2019, be sure to contact BSG and arrange for a Registered Energy Advisor to come out to your home. You can call the office at 1-866-333-3920, or speak to the office staff using the online chat feature on the Barrier Sciences Group website. We also provide a free over the phone consultation to determine eligibility for the Home Efficiency Rebate

The New Home Efficiency Rebate offers rebates up to $5,000.

There’s great news for homeowners who are planning to do residential renovations or upgrades! The new Home Efficiency Rebate offers up to $5,000 back for home energy upgrades. By doing renovations or upgrades that will improve a home’s energy efficiency, homeowners may be eligible for substantial rebates of up to $5,000 from Enbridge and Union Gas. Simply put, there are long-term payoffs with an energy efficient home.

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