If you own real estate in Toronto, you may think “winterizing your home” is just a matter of keeping the door closed when not in use or closing the storm windows. While these are, of course, very good steps, they are not the end of the winterizing process. Below are three steps you can take to winterize your home. These steps are the minimal cost up front. And they can save you hundreds, if not thousands, in repair bills later.
Address Your Pipes
If you have external water pipes, such as the spigot used to water your garden, you must take steps to prevent water freezing in the pipes. Frozen pipes lead to cracked and split pipes and that leads to untold damage. You can prevent this by shutting off the source of water at the spigot. Next, open the faucet and allow the water already in the pipe to drain completely to preserve your real estate.
As long as you are looking at your water pipes, take a moment to examine the exposed pipes in the basement and the garage. Examine them for cracks or other signs that repair is needed. Next, wrap the pipes in insulation sleeves to protect them from the cold and prevent pipes from freezing.
Address Your Temperature
Unless someone is home all day long, there is no sense in paying to heat your empty home. Invest in a programmable thermostat. This thermostat lowers the temperature when you are away, and raises the temperature to a more comfortable level in anticipation of your return home. You may also consider lowing the temperature while you are sleeping. Studies show a programmable thermostat that is “Energy-Star” approved can help you save 10 % or more on your heating bills. You can adjust your preferences at any time – both at home or online, through the internet.
Address Your Water Heater
Your water heater works 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make sure you have hot water available at a moment’s notice. Take some time to have your hot water heater checked once a year. The beginning of winter is as good a time as any to address this issue. While your plumber is inspecting the water heater, ask if there are insulation options or other ways to lower your energy use. One option is to turn your water heater setting down by just a few degrees. This will save you significant amounts of money. If you are in the market for a new water heater, be sure to look for one that is energy efficient.
In the Market for a New Home?
Whether you are in the market for a new home or looking to sell the home you have, our real estate agents can help. We have extensive knowledge of the Toronto real estate market. Let our experience work for you. Contact us at the neighbourhood office that works best for you.