Winterizing Your Home

Save money and remain cozy throughout winter by acting now before the bitter cold arrives. Most of these tips can be accomplished without even leaving your home!

1. Change Furnace Filters

 

CJBrubacher_Furnace_Filters

Dirty filters restrict airflow and don’t do their jobs properly. This can mean more dust & allergen particles coming into your home. Another side effect of clogged filters is forcing your furnace or air cooling system to work harder, exhausting its lifespan.

We recommend switching from fiberglass filters, which capture 10-40% of debris, to a HEPA filter, which can capture 99.97% of air pollutants.

2. Prep Your Fireplace

 

CJBrubacher_GasFireplace

Many people aren’t aware that their fireplace needs to be serviced yearly. This will ensure it runs smoothly all winter long. Most of the time, a quick clean and test of the internal components — such as ensuring no natural gas or CO can leak — is all that is needed.

If you have a wood fireplace, ensure the chimney is in good repair and cleaned out. If you don’t have a chimney liner it is now required by code in Ontario.

3. Drain Your Hose Pipes

 

CJBrubacher_Outside_Faucet

Every Spring we, unfortunately, have to assist with a few surprise home renovations after internal pipes freeze & burst. This is almost always from an outside faucet being left active over the winter. Typically, these renovations end up costing the unsuspecting homeowners anywhere from $1,000-5,000.

The worst part? It’s easily avoided. Here’s how: Turn off the water from the water shut-off valve inside your home. Then, turn on the outside tap until all of the water has drained. It’s seriously as easy as that!

4. Check to See if Your Furnace is Working! (Before the cold weather hits!)

 

CJBrubahcer_Furnace

The important thing here is to have your furnace serviced¬†before the cool weather hits. September-November is extremely busy for mechanical contracting companies and they often book 1-2 weeks ahead. You do not want to find out on the first night below zero that your furnace won’t turn on and you have to pay emergency rates for an after hours plumber.

You could save hundreds of dollars if you 1) Test your furnace before freezing temperatures arrive, and, 2) Book a yearly inspection. Yearly furnace inspections test the efficiency and safety of your furnace, ensuring a cozy winter for you and your family.

5. Automate Your Thermostat

 

CJBrubacher_HoneywellThermostat

The average family spends 50-70% of their energy budget on heating, so make sure you aren’t paying for what you don’t need! If you program your thermostat to only fire your furnace when it reaches a certain temperature while you’re home, and a lower temperature when everyone is gone, you will save huge!

Every degree you lower your thermostat setting equals $1-$3 in savings. Don’t have a programmable thermostat? They are widely available and easily installed. We will supply & install your Honeywell 2000 Pro Thermostat for $110.00 — money you will get back on your bills during an average Canadian winter.

6. Caulk Your Windows

 

CJBrubacher_WeatherCaulking

Caulking & weatherstripping your windows can stop leakage by up to 30%! That’s an easy $30 per month on your energy bill!

Look for places where two building materials meet such as windows, corners, chimneys, where pipes exit, or along your foundation. Use a lit stick of incense and move it slowly near these areas and if the smoke wavers, you have air escaping or sneaking in.

7. Lower Your Water Heater

 

CJBrubacher_Rheem_Hot_WaterHeater

Most installers set your heat at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but in reality, 120 degrees Fahrenheit is all you need. Lowering that temperature can also result in savings by 6-10% off your energy bill.

If your water heater is old, or you have concerns about its efficiencies, call your local plumbing & heating experts. We can advise the best options right over the phone, including purchasing a new water heater or adopting a rental unit.

8. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

 

CJBrubacher_CeilingFan

Fans are great all summer long when you want to keep cool. Did you know that if you run them clockwise they will disperse warm air that pools against the ceiling? This will make a room feel much warmer, allowing you to turn the thermostat down a degree or two.

As air is circulated back into your living spaces, you can actually help save as much as 10% off your energy bill.

9. Insulate Your Interior

 

CJBrubacher_Insulation

Your heat is escaping through your roof. At least 25% of all heat loss occurs when an attic or roof is uninsulated. It’s an easy fix. You can insult your attic floor, your basement ceiling, and other areas you think are culprits for air leakage.

This will guarantee a cozier winter while you save $$$ on your monthly energy bill.

10. Insulate Those Hot Water Pipes

 

CJBrubacher_WinterizePipes

This is one that you can choose to do yourself, or hire an expert for. Most pipe insulators can be purchased at your local hardware or plumbing store, and you can cut/fit them to their proper size.

If you aren’t sure which pipes are your hot water pipes, call an expert. We don’t recommend putting your hands on pipes to see which ones are warm, as this could scald your skin very badly.

As always, if you need any heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or plumbing work done, you can contact us via our phone @ 519-669-3362, our Facebook page, or our Contact Information page!

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions about electrical work, plumbing, heating, or air conditioning, please contact us at:

519-669-3362
CJ Brubacher Ltd.
Facebook Page
19 First St E
Elmira, Ontario
N3B 2E6

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