If you’ve been following our seasonal home maintenance checklists, especially for October and November, then your home should be pretty prepared for winter. If not, then make sure you complete everything on this list before the end of the year!
We referenced Tarion’s home maintenance checklist to put together this list for you (and though Tarion is currently going through a complete overhaul, its maintenance tips are still super helpful!).
Check roof for snow
Snow hit us early in the Greater Toronto Area this year. Depending on where you live, you could have snow piling up on your roof already. Most homes can handle a good amount of snow on the roof, but if you have an older home or didn’t have a chance to inspect your roof before it got covered in snow, you may want to remove some of it as a precaution.
Removing snow from your roof can be a pain as it is mostly out of reach and you should not risk going on the roof to clear it because it is too risky. If you’re concerned about the amount of snow, we recommend calling a professional to come assess the situation. Worst case scenario, your roof was damaged before and all the snow causes more damage and then melts and leaks into your home, causing interior damage as well.
Clean furnace and heat recovery ventilator
This has been on the monthly to-do list ever since the temperature started dropping. Now that temperatures are hitting below zero degrees celsius on a regular basis, you’re likely using your heat. In order for it to work as efficiently as possible, you should clean the filter. You can do this by turning off the unit, removing the filter and vacuuming it, then rinse it with water. Let it lay out or lean it in the tub to dry before reinstalling.
Check air ducts
Walk around your home and take a look at the registers and vent covers; if there is visible dust, then you likely have dirty air ducts. This impacts the quality of your air and makes your home’s air system work harder. Dirty air ducts can also affect air flow from room to room, so if you feel like certain rooms aren’t getting air movement, then there could be a build-up of debris.
You can clean your air ducts by turning off the air system and unscrewing the vents and registers. You may want to rent a high-powered vacuum for the job because there will likely be more dust than your regular vacuum can handle. A long handle will be necessary because you want to get as far back as possible in the ducts. Don’t forget to clean the vents and registers!
Winter is a dry season. If you use a humidifier, it’s likely been in storage for many months. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the inside of a humidifier can get pretty gross because it’s an optimal environment for mold to grow. The last thing you want is to breathe in moldy air all winter. So before you get that humidifier going, open it up and give it a good cleaning!
And as always, you should test and reset your GFCI, and ensure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning and have fresh batteries.
Good luck getting all these important home maintenance tasks done before the end of the year!