Hunker Down

Hunker Down

Winterize Your Home and Vehicle

As fall arrives and winter peeks around the corner, now is the time to get your home and vehicle ready for another Saskatchewan snow season. It’s way easier to get it done before the snow flies. Here’s a checklist to get you prepared.

• Check your roof and shingles. Make sure your shingles are doing their job and that none are missing or loose.

• Clean your eavestroughs and downspouts. As winter arrives, our weather will play the “freeze and thaw” game a few times before the frost sticks around. Make sure water can move away from your home.

• Turn off the taps and put away the hoses. Turn off your outdoor faucets from inside your home to prevent pipe bursts. Drain and put away your garden hoses. If you have inground sprinklers, have them blown out by a professional.

• Check for window and door drafts and seal them up. No one wants to see a snow drift inside a doorway or waste heat energy due to cold getting inside. Check your windows and doors and apply weatherstripping and sealant where it’s needed.

• Get an expert to check your furnace. On the first cold day of winter, you want to make sure the heat comes on. Have your furnace inspected to make sure it’s in good working order. While you’re at it, change that furnace filter.

• Give your house a hug. How is your insulation? Insulation helps keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Make sure you have enough.

• Clean your ducts. Dryer lint buildup reduces your machine’s efficiency and can start a fire. Get a professional in to clean it, and your furnace ducts too.

• Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. As we move indoors with the cold weather, ensure your detectors are working properly and are in the best places in your home. Replace the batteries and make sure they work.

• Program that thermostat. Make sure you reduce the temperature when you’re not home or asleep. You can reduce your energy use and save money by decreasing the temperature when you don’t need the heat.

• Properly store your outdoor furniture and décor. Caring for and storing your patio furniture, firepits and other décor will make it last longer and look better.

• Prune trees and shrubs and divide your perennials to prepare for next spring. Trading perennials with other gardeners is also a great way to get new plants.

• Aerate and fertilize your lawn with a fall fertilizer. Place compost on your garden one last time and clean and store your garden tools.

• Your raked leaves can move into your flower beds and beneath trees for mulch and as a winter home for those ever-important pollinators.

• Get out the shovels, sand and salt. Don’t get caught with snow on the sidewalk and a shovel buried in the back of the shed or garage. Find the tools you need and put them where they’re easy to access. Or arrange now for a snow-shovelling service so you can get some extra sleep instead of moving snow on a cold morning.

• Make sure your vehicles are winter ready. Get a deep clean to remove the summer dirt and grime inside and out. Make an appointment for the tire changeover and get a tune-up and oil change. Pop the winter emergency kit into the car, and winter-ready windshield washer fluid under the hood.