All across the Northern Hemisphere it has already started – from the Holiday decorations and markets to the adverts for shovels and winter tires. How did this happen? How did summer slip us by so quickly? How will we survive another six months of biting, relentless cold and shoveling and car-scraping? Well the short answer is, the same way we do every year, with beer and hockey. The long answer, however is a bit more technical, which brings us to this month’s topic, Weatherproofing Your Home. There are a few easy things you can do yourself to make sure you’re not pouring your heard earned dollars out the window, (no pun intended):

Weatherstripping around your doors and windows Seems like a no-brainer right? But when was the last time you inspected your weatherstripping for tears or gaps? You would be surprised at the amount of damage the summer heat and last winter’s salt has on your weatherstripping, no matter how recently you had it installed.

how-to-install-weatherstripping-onto-doors-1

Coco-Mat or jute runners on those icy front steps While jute runners won’t reduce the iciness of the front steps, it will reduce the damage to the wood or concrete from a winters worth of salt and shovels. Easy to install and very affordable, jute can save you a lot of painting and patching in the Spring.

Programming your thermostat Does your furnace run all day long at the same temperature? Or do you manually ‘crank it up’ when you get home from work, only shut it down at bedtime and repeat the cycle in the morning? Taking a few minutes to program different temperature settings for your sleep/wake/away/home times of the day will save you not only utility dollars but reduce wear and tear on your furnace.

If you have an older home, you may want to consider hiring a professional for the following initiatives:

Insulating your attic and/or basement. The two biggest heat-losers in your home are your attic and your basement. What’s worse, leaving them poorly insulated can lead to a leaking roof or a damp and mildew-y basement. Spray foam insulation can often be installed with minimal disruption and mess and you will be amazed at the difference you feel, right away. For more information on the importance of hiring a qualified installer, please see the following article from the CBC: http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/spray-foam-insulation-can-make-some-homes-unlivable

Replacing old windows and doors. That old saying, they don’t make’em like they used to, rings true for a lot of things, and windows is certainly one of them, but not for the reasons that the expression intends. Over time, your windows and doors have shrunk, warped, become jammed with paint and dead ladybugs, and as a result are much less efficient than they used to be. And we haven’t even gotten to the esthetic features yet! With so many options to choose from, PVC, aluminum, fiberglass, wood, the choice can be overwhelming. Main Renovations can walk you through the benefits of each as well as advise you on design choice to suit your home.

These new PVC windows will keep the heat in and the cold out during cold winter months.

These new PVC windows will keep the heat in and the cold out during cold winter months.

Heating cables along your roofline and through your eavestrough. Winter can be a sneaky devil; temperature and weather fluctuations are so frequent and varied all winter long that ice builds up in all kinds of nasty spots – your roof line is no exception. Other than causing potential major damage to your roof and eavestrough system, ice build-up can be extremely dangerous for those on the ground below.

ice dams

For more energy saving tips, you may want to take a look at the following links: http://www.hydroone.com/MyHome/SaveEnergy/Pages/TipsTools.aspx

For a complete review of your home and to provide you with a detailed estimate of ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, please contact us at info@mainrnovations.com

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