It’s going to be your first winter in your new home. Having done the right thing and ensured that you completed your move before the good weather was over, you are now preparing to spend the colder months enjoying all kinds of firsts in your new Waterloo Region home.
You are no doubt gearing up for hosting that first exciting holiday party in your new space, buying up all kinds of new decorations and decor pieces to make the place look festive. You are planning to spend New Year’s Eve at home this time, so you can ‘ring in’ what will hopefully be a great new year in your marvelous new house. Heck, you may even look forward to shovelling snow off your new driveway for the first time, just for novelty’s sake.
As this will be your first time wintering in your new home, the standard winter preparations and checks that any homeowner should make every year may need to be a little more involved. Here are just a few tips to help you prepare your new home for the coming winter so you really will have the great time you are expecting.
Check the Heat
Even if the seller assured you the heating system was in great shape, the heat was not running when you viewed and then purchased your home in the spring or summer. The fact is, depending upon how long the home was on the market, it may have been off for months.
Waiting for the first cold snap to test your heating is a terrible idea. Every HVAC company in town – every good one anyway – is very busy during the winter months, and while many offer emergency repair services why pay more – and freeze for at least a few hours – to have your heating system repaired when a simple fall check up would have saved you from it all?
New to the neighbourhood and not sure who to call? If a service provider isn’t specified on your heater – or even if it is – ask a few neighbours who they use. It’s always a good idea to get local recommendations and it may be a great way to break the ice (pardon the pun.)
Check Your Lagging and Insulation
Something else you probably didn’t pay much attention to when you were buying your home was something as boring, but essential, as making sure your home was adequately insulated and that its pipes were properly lagged. Now is the time to check, as a frozen pipe can lead to huge disaster and a poorly insulated attic or basement can cost you a fortune in wasted heating costs.
Inspect the insulation and weather stripping around doors and windows too. While many home sellers go to great lengths to stage their home little things like these often get overlooked and may not be up to the job.
Make Sure You Know Where to Turn Off the Water and Electricity
As you have been so busy unpacking, decorating and getting to know your new surroundings, the chances are that you haven’t done some basics yet, like making sure you know where – and how – to turn off your new home’s water and electricity supplies.
As winter is the season for ice, snow and other less than pleasant weather conditions, storms and power outages can make knowing how to do this a must.
Check Your Interior Alarms
The holiday season means lots of guests, lots of cooking and, for most of us, lots of gadgets and lights. All of this, while fun and festive, also adds up to increased fire risks, so working smoke alarms are even more important than they usually are. If you haven’t already add fresh new batteries, as who knows how long it had been since the former owners of your new home did.