Mistakes Homeowners Make Before Every Winter
Winter. Are you ready?
When the snow piles up, it may seem like we’re in the off-season for home maintenance. After all, the leaves are gone, and there’s no grass to cut. But don’t make the mistake of putting your home on the backburner this season. Failing to complete your winter checks and maintenance before the -30 degree weather shows up could be your biggest mistake. Don’t let the cold bite you this season, and check out our maintenance recommendations to help your home be ready when winter comes…
Change Furnace Filter
Changing the filter regularly will help keep your furnace in working order longer. The filter helps prevent dust, dirt, and other allergens from building inside the house. If the filter gets full, the heating system has to work harder and can reduce its life expectancy. Typically it’s recommended to change the filter every 1 -3 months; however, every household is different, so you may need only to replace it once a year. If that’s the case, try to plan to replace them in the late fall and make it a habit of your winter maintenance routine.
Clean Air Conditioner
Your A/C served you well this summer; it deserves a break and a wash! Wipe down the unit before the snow hits and remove any debris before hosing it down. Once it’s completely dry, cover the unit to keep it protected. If your system has one, turn off the water shutoff valve. For window units, ensure you remove them and store them indoors. If you can’t close the vents, use an air conditioner cover to protect it from the elements.
Sprinklers & Outdoor Water Supply
Ensure you drain the valves to remove excess water or have a professional blow out your sprinkler system before the frost sets in. Remove outdoor hoses or other devices and store them away. Turn off outdoor water spigots and drain everything completely; ice is not your friend here.
Take a peak at your gutters and clear out any debris so melted snow can flow down your roof. Check for any exposed plywood where the shingles may have blown off during one of our many summer wind storms. Lastly, the vents. If your roof is not properly vented, this can cause condensation to build up in your attic and cause damage to the structure or even lead to mold. Condensation is commonly an exclusion under home insurance and can result in a lot of damage.
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Check your alarms and replace the batteries if needed. Also, check to see if you even have one! As of this year, the Government of Saskatchewan has amended the regulation that all residential buildings should have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Be safe this holiday season. With furnaces running and artificial lights glittering, fire or carbon monoxide poisoning is a potential hazard. And speaking of lights…
Safety First & Always
The holidays are a great time to show off your festive spirit with lights and decorations. But those pretty decorations don’t come without risks. Replace burnt-out bulbs and use the proper ladder when stringing up your lights. Metal is a conductor, and a metal ladder can lead to electrical shocks. For the outdoors, look for weatherproof lights labelled as waterproof and try to keep any extension cords away from overly wet areas.
These are just a few suggestions regarding your property to keep in mind to help your home be ready for winter. Other than that, have a great time, enjoy the snow, go tobogganing and inquire with your broker about Home Systems Protection to help provide additional coverage for your main appliances, such as the furnace and air conditioner.
You should review your home insurance policy regularly to better understand your coverage, limitations, and conditions. Want to connect with an insurance broker to help you better understand your policy?