Keeping your House Warm and Safe During the Winter

window frost

Despite the not so cheerful prognosis, the weather in your house can take a sunnier turn with the right maintenance during this truly Canadian winter. Follow our top 5 tips and suggestions for maintaining your house during the winter season, and enjoy all the warmth and comfort your house has to offer, with minimal inconvenience to you and your family.

Despite the not so cheerful prognosis, the weather in your house can take a sunnier turn with the right maintenance during this truly Canadian winter. Follow our top 5 tips and suggestions for maintaining your house during the winter season, and enjoy all the warmth and comfort your house has to offer, with minimal inconvenience to you and your family.

1. Maintain the right humidity levels

Humidity levels are extremely important and lack of proper maintenance may have a great impact both on your house and your health.  Many adverse effects are associated with humidity levels being too high or too low. In the winter especially, humidity tends to be low and the dryness may cause skin cracking and irritation, sore throat, breathing difficulties, static electricity, cracking of wooden furniture, etc. For example, one particular effect of low humidity on the house is observed with wood floor that shrinks and loosens creating hollow space that allows for movement of floor layers. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation suggests to maintain humidity level between 35% 45% during the winter. You can use a hygrometer to easily check the humidity levels in your house, while investing in a humidifier will enable you to take control and adjust humidity to the desired level. This way, you will not only take care of your house and all its wooden features, but most importantly, you will take care of your health!

2. Examine your house for ice accumulation or cold air leaks

While some measures may be taken proactively to be ready for the wrath of cold, some things are only discovered during the winter season itself, such as accumulation of ice on windows. If you do find that your house gives way to air leaks, ice accumulation, and ice dams, whether on windows, in the attic or on the roof, make a note to take care of it in the spring. Depending in the exact problem, different services are available to help you solve it, from re-applying insulation, replacing doors and windows to roofing services.

3. Clean the chimney and make sure the fireplace is ready for use

While many house owners see the fireplace as a romantic luxury that is nice to have, they don’t use it often and don’t maintain it regularly. The recent ice storm in Ontario proved that fireplaces can be very functional indeed, being the only source of heat when the power is out. As such, make sure to regularly clean it so it will be ready for use at any time. (While on the subject of power outage, you might also want to stock up on candles, just in case.) Here is a good resource you can consult for tips on cleaning the chimney.

4. Remember all your plumbing fixtures

In your house, you probably have certain plumbing fixtures that are not used frequently. These might include a spare bathroom sink, a laundry tab, or a spare shower stall. Make sure to regularly, for a brief time, run water through these pipes in order to keep water flowing through. Such precaution prevents water from freezing in a particular spot and the pipes from bursting, which can cause flooding, or in the least it will force you to shut off your house’s water supply until you have the burst pipe repaired!

5. Regularly clean the furnace filters

During the winter, the house heating system is working around the clock. It is imperative to check the filters at least every month and either clean or replace them. Not only will it ensure that the system is working as it should, but such maintenance will also guarantee a cleaner and healthier air in the house. The winter is going to stay for a while, so remember to enjoy the charms that it brings with it, as long as you keep warm and safe!

We also welcome your suggestions for future topics, as well as any other comments and experiences you’d like to share with us. Feel free to e-mail us info@silentfloor.ca. www.SilentFloor.ca  ||  (647) 427-4260 …and watch our videos www.youtube.com/user/mark87r