Winter is coming… So I thought I would provide you with a few pro-tips so you can be prepared and ahead of the game!
1) Turn on your fireplace and let it run for a little while! Make sure it all seems in working order, since you haven’t been using it as regularly. No matter how good your fireplace is, every unit needs cleaning and maintenance at some point. After the first snowfall, service calls tend to book up quickly so you’ll be happy that you were proactive, if a service call is required.
2) Does your fireplace have a timer feature? I have a Valor Portrait Ledge installed on the main floor of my house and in the winter, it is my favorite feature! Every morning, I wake up at 5am so I set a timer for 4:30am. I also set a timer for a half hour before I arrive home from work. I never have to dread walking through a cold house, first thing in the morning or after a long day at work! It also means that I can rely on my baseboards much less, cutting down on my overall heating costs. I set up this timer as soon as it starts to get colder in the mornings.
3) Before the snow starts, find an evening to turn on your exterior lights and see if any need to be changed. Try and keep in mind when you last changed them. Changing them out now (with an energy efficient bulb) will save you a ton of hassle and potential slips in the Winter.
4) Winterize the property as soon as you feel the chill in the air! Move your Kamado Joe Charcoal BBQ and Blue Rhino fire pit to the back of the shed and bring on out the shovels, skates and snow blower! It’s easier to get that chore finished before there’s snow and ice on the ground.
5) If your space/style allows it, invest in a nice rug! Especially in the room where you have installed your fireplace. As long as you follow your particular fireplace clearances, any radiant heat- producing fireplace will absorb the warmth into the items within the space itself. It’s a deeper, longer lasting and more natural heat like the sun. Let that absorb into your rug for warm toes. 🙂
6) Check your windows and doors- Any drafts? Is your storm door still holding up strong? Now is the time to add weather- stripping. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how smart you are with your home heating methods, if your windows and doors can’t contain the heat you are producing!
7) Invest in some indoor plants! Not only will the greenery cheer you up, but purchasing air purifying plants will help increase the air quality in your home during months that you cannot keep windows and doors open for long. Particular chemical properties from cleaning and beauty products can stick around so purchasing a bamboo plant can do your home a world of good!
8) If you need a quick fix in the Winter, consider spending a few dollars on window insulation kits. You can get them at any general hardware store, they’re inexpensive and almost invisible. It’ll create a better buffer zone to keep the draft out and will hold heat in much more effectively, if drafts are an issue.
9) If you have a ceiling fan, did you know that changing the direction of your fan rotation can change the temperature of your room? Clockwise fan rotations produce cooler breezes, where as clockwise rotation produces a warmer breeze and moves heat quicker.
10) Give back. Have any outdoor furniture or summer items that you know you’ll be replacing next summer? Any left-over lumber, paint or other home reno materials that you have no use for? Have you gone through your closet lately? Have any extra furniture, décor or accessories kicking around? Late fall is a good opportunity to get rid of these items and give it to someone who will bring new life to them. Christmas is a hard time for everyone so you may be able to help someone out. Plus, the items you’re looking to remove from your home may be more easily transported, pre- snowfall.
There are tons of amazing, deserving organizations locally but here are a few in particular that I like to support:
– Home Again Furniture Bank: http://homeagainfb.ca/
– Single Parent Association of NL: http://www.envision.ca/webs/span/
– The Wiseman Centre: http://www.thrivecyn.ca/directory-of-services/housing/the-wiseman-centre/
– Habitat for Humanity: http://www.habitatnl.ca/
I hope you found some of these tips helpful. Additionally, if you have any tips that you’d like to provide, please feel free to share with us in the comments below!