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Renovations to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Hate to use the “W” word, but winter is fast approaching. Sure, being situated on the West Coast of Canada Nanaimo is blessed with a fairly benign climate, but even here the mercury can dip, and (horrors) it can occasionally snow. So while there’s still time to prepare for the onset of winter what steps can homeowners take to prepare their properties for the unavoidable? Here are a few simple steps you can take to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient during the long dark months ahead.

The Home’s Heating System

The source of your indoor comfort and the biggest drain on your finances, your home’s heating system is something that needs to be attended to – especially as you’ve probably been neglecting it since late spring. One simple thing to do is to replace your furnace’s air filter, in accordance with the replacement schedule set out by the manufacturer. If your home has electrical baseboard heating then take the easy step of vacuuming the vents and all around the heaters prior to turning them on for the first time. While you’re down there also make sure no paper or children’s toys are wedged into unseen corners or crevices. If you have ceiling fans check which way they are spinning. During the summer months you want your fan to blow cooler air down into the room – during the winter you want the fan to draw the warm air upward. This is especially important in homes with high ceilings.

Checking for Perimeter Leaks

Your home, regardless of age, is not air tight. No matter the cost or design there has to be a movement of air into and out of the home. But excessive movement translates into drafts, cold spots and unnecessary expense. A use of caulking and weather stripping is probably one of the easiest and most economical ways of heading off this energy drain. By some estimates a poorly sealed home can be responsible for up to 15 per cent of its heating costs. Always check around doors and windows to feel where the cold spots are. Older single pane windows might have to be replaced with newer energy-efficient ones, requiring the services of quality home builders like Nanaimo’s Lanmar Contracting. Other simple fixes around the home include making sure the fireplace damper is closed (until you want to use the fireplace of course), and sealing electrical conduits and plumbing vents with caulking if gaps are allowing air to flow through to the outside.

Don’t Forget the Insulation

Having the correct level of attic insulation might be the best investment you can make to ensure your home is comfortable during the dark days of winter. This is especially true for older homes which could have been constructed employing blow insulation or other dated building techniques. While this can be a do it yourself project, it might be simpler in the long run to hire a professional to remove old insulation and then replace it with rolls of the modern fiberglass type. Weather stripping around attic hatches and doors is another quick fix to stop the unwelcome flow of air though your home. By taking a few simple and in many cases economical steps now, the coming winter months will be comfortable and more affordable.

Contact Lan Mar Contracting for your next renovation in Nanaimo.

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