Tips for preparing for the coming winter chill
Last year’s dreaded “polar vortex” got people in our office thinking about ways we can prepare better for this coming winter. As we were putting together our list of to-dos, we thought we’d share some of our better ideas with our valued clients and friends.
Tip #1 – Don’t skimp on the sodium
We never thought of Canada as a place that would run out of road salt in the middle of winter … until we stood in long lines to buy salt, only to be turned away from multiple locations because they were out of stock.
This year, be sure to stock up on salt early on to avoid the rush. Even if this winter isn’t quite as dramatic as the last one, road salt doesn’t go bad and you’ll definitely be glad you have it at some point in the future.
Tip #2 – Clean out the ol’ furnace
Furnaces can last for decades, but only if they’re properly cared for. Be sure to change your furnace filter regularly and have a professional examine and clean your furnace according to the recommended schedule. This will reduce the chance of a winter breakdown and will save you money in the long run.
Tip #3 – Clean your chimney, too
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it’s a good idea to have your chimney cleaned once every year or two. That’s because residue can build up over time in your chimney, and then cause a chimney fire at a later date.
Clearing this residue from your fireplace on a regular basis is a great way to make your home safer for your family.
Tip #4 – Wood is good
On the topic of wood-burning fireplaces, it’s not a bad idea to have lots of firewood handy early in the season. Why is getting it early in the season important?
Apparently (this is what we’ve heard at least), much of the drier/better aged wood is sold early in the season. After that, some of the fresher/wetter wood starts to get drawn down. Drier wood tends to burn better and leaves less residue (see Tip #3).
With the power outages that occurred in a number of areas across eastern Canada last winter, and the ever-looming potential for mid-winter power outages over the coming winters, it never hurts to have a stock of dry wood to help heat your house.
Feel free to contact us with your winter planning tips, and maybe I’ll share them in a future article.