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How to prepare your home for winter

THE BASICS

1. Use draft stoppers

We understand if you’ve never heard of them. They are not as widely popularized as they should be. But take it from us here at Homes in Kits, these beauties will help you so much in the coming winter days.  Draft stoppers can be filled with beans, rice, or foam and are laid out in front of windows and doors to stop cold air from seeping in from any little cracks unseen. 

2. Install insulated curtains or bubble wrap

Windows let in a lot of cold air, even when they’re shut. But if you get some insulated curtains, like the draft stoppers, they make a huge difference to the temperature in the room. 

Here’s a diy tip if you don’t want to spend money on curtains. Invest in bubble wrap. It serves the same purpose as the insulated curtains and is also more affordable. Stick bubble wrap on your windows to keep the cool air from getting through and into your home. 

3. Clean your chimney/ get your fireplace checked

Do we really need to explain this one? So it’s been a while since you needed the extra heat in your home. Whether it’s a gas or wood burning fireplace, it’s best to get it checked before you turn it on suddenly after months of being unused. If you’re unsure about how to do it yourself, call a professional. 

4. Get a rug

Hardwood, laminate, and concrete floors are pretty trendy, but they can get cold very fast. No one likes to have cold feet. When your feet are cold, the rest of you seems cold too. Imagine getting out of bed and having your feet greeted by a soft and cozy rug instead of the cold floor. Do we need to say more?

5. Protect your pipes

The last thing you want during the winter is frozen or burst water pipes. Make sure you know how to turn the water off and what temperature you should set the heat to prevent freezing.

6. Check that your furnace and heater are in order

You don’t want to be using the furnace if you can’t even remember when the last inspection was. You want to be comfortable this winter without having to deal with any problems.

What you might not have considered

1. Read the labels before you plug it in

We get it, who doesn’t love Christmas with all the trimmings, including Christmas lights. You don’t want to be caught off card with a potential hazard. This doesn’t only apply to Christmas lights. Read the labels for any electrical devices you purchase to make your home more comfortable, such as space heaters, electric blankets and anything else that uses electricity.

2. Let someone know before you leave

The winter season is a pretty popular time for holidays. Whether it’s a week-long getaway to visit family or a weekend trip to the mountains to hop on some skis, you should always let someone know if you’ll be gone.  So many things can go wrong. What if you forget to turn the gas off, or what if someone breaks into your home? Better not to take chances with that.

3. Prepare for an emergency

Every home should have an emergency kit. Even if you live in a strata property and a portion of your fees goes to maintenance and backup supplies. Don’t be fooled. Every home within the strata should have their own emergency kit for backup. What if the power goes out. You can’t assume that the generator will kick in and give you power. While it would be nice if it did, the generator might malfunction too.  Pack a few flashlights, extra candles, matches, and anything else that goes in an emergency kit. Use this list from the government of Canada as a guide to put together your emergency kit.