Bears have it pretty easy. During winter, they curl up in their caves and watch Seinfeld reruns until Spring (I assume). Homeowners, not so much. These tips will keep you comfortable all winter long!

CHANGE FURNACE FILTERS Furnace breakdowns when it’s -30oC are no fun. 9 out of 10 service calls result from poor airflow. Change 1-inch filters every three months and 6-inch filters every six months. To change a filter, turn off the furnace. Replace the existing filter with the arrow pointing towards the furnace. Turn the power back on.

TURN OFF EXTERIOR FAUCETS Pipes that bursts in February don’t show up until March when temperatures rise and your basement floods. To winterize faucets turn off the water at the shut-off valve inside your home. Open the faucet outside then find the drain cap located back at the shut-off valve. Unscrew it and catch the water that comes out in a bucket before reinserting the cap.

CLEAN YOUR EAVESTROUGHS You don’t want clogged eavestroughs in the spring when rain starts falling. Eavestroughs also protect your home during winter by directing melting snow away from your foundation. Clogged eavestroughs may also increase the risk of ice dams. Eavestrough cleaning is dangerous work so hire a professional.

BE FIRE SAFE With your heating equipment working overtime, there is added danger from fire and carbon monoxide. Replace the batteries on your alarms and check for expiry dates. Alarms need to be replaced every 10 years. Place fire extinguishers on each floor and near your kitchen, electrical, and laundry rooms.

Caboodl lets you enjoy your home. Serving the Toronto area, our proactive maintenance saves time and money by preventing problems before they happen and solving them quickly if they do. – Ben Bisset, www.caboodl.ca

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