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How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

As a realtor in Toronto, I understand the importance of preparing your home for the winter months. In this blog, we will discuss how to prepare your home for the winter months, focusing on heating systems and maintenance, roof and gutter care, and insulation and energy efficiency.


Heating Systems and Maintenance

  1. Perform a pre-winter HVAC system assessment to identify potential issues or inefficiencies.
  2. Schedule professional maintenance for your heating system.
  3. Seal gaps and cracks around doors, windows, and other openings to prevent drafts.
  4. Consider upgrading to a smart thermostat or replacing your HVAC system for better energy efficiency.


Roof and Gutter Care

  1. Inspect your roof for damage, missing or damaged shingles, and ensure the drainage system is clean and functional.
  2. Remove debris from your gutters and roof to prevent clogs and ice dams.
  3. Use a roof rake to clear snow from your roof, preventing leaks and ice dams.
  4. Schedule regular assessments and repairs with a professional roofing company.


Insulation and Energy Efficiency

  1. Check attic insulation to ensure adequate coverage and prevent heat loss.
  2. Winterize your pipes to prevent freezing and bursting.
  3. Inspect your home for holes and seal them to prevent drafts and heat loss.
  4. Cut back trees and inspect your roof for potential damage.
  5. Check alarms, such as smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, to ensure they are functioning properly.


To winterize your home's HVAC system, follow these steps:

  1. Insulate exposed pipes: Protect pipes that run along your home's exterior or around your garage from freezing temperatures by adding insulation and other coverings.
  2. Prep your furnace: Vacuum out the dust and dirt particles collected inside the furnace to keep the system running properly.
  3. Change the HVAC filter: Replace your unit's filters to ensure proper airflow and reduce strain on your blower fan.
  4. Clean the coils: Dust can build up on the evaporator coils inside the air handler, hurting your heat pump's efficiency. Use a dusting brush and a shop vac to clean the coils.
  5. Clean the compressor: Make sure the sides of the outdoor compressor unit are clear of vegetation and debris, allowing adequate airflow to the coils. Check for cracked and bent fan blades, and clean any dirt from the fan.
  6. Clear snow and ice: Prevent damage from snow and ice build-up by keeping the space around your outdoor unit clear. After a large snowstorm, clear a space that is at least 18 inches all around the unit and keep the top and sides of the unit uncovered.
  7. Schedule professional maintenance: Arrange for a pre-winter HVAC system assessment to identify potential issues or inefficiencies and schedule regular tune-ups to increase the lifespan of your system.
  8. Check alarms: Ensure that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly to maintain safety during the winter months.


By following these steps, you can effectively winterize your home's HVAC system and ensure it operates efficiently throughout the cold season and ensure your home is prepared for the winter months keeping you and your family safe, warm, and comfortable.