It is almost that time of year again. You know the one, right? The one where snow falls from the sky in sheets and makes our cars and homes indistinguishable from the landscape around it?
Yes, winter is upon us—but it’s not all bad! ‘Tis the season of cuddling up with a mug of hot cocoa and binging Netflix, of hitting the ice or the slopes, whichever you prefer, and spending quality time with loved ones. There is truly nothing like Niagara in the wintertime!
Do you know why Niagara periodically experiences heavy snowfalls? It is a phenomenon called lake-effect snow which is a consequence of being surrounded by Great Lakes.
From November to January, cold winter air collides with lake water which is still warm from the summer and produces moisture which rises to form snow clouds. The further air travels over the warm lake water, the more intense the ensuing storm will be—just a little fun fact!
With that being said, it is all the more important to be sure that your home is ready for the flurries! From our family to yours, here are some tips to ensure that your home is protected against harsh winter conditions:
We suggest beginning the process outside. Start by removing debris from your gutters and pivot downspouts away from the foundation of your home to ensure water can move freely through them. This will also help to prevent icicles and ice dams from forming in the future.
If any tree branches are looming, we recommend removing them before they can cause damage to your property.
Drafts can be costly. The David Suzuki Foundation postulates that drafts can waste between five and thirty percent of your home’s energy. To detect the locations where unwanted air is entering, they cleverly suggest lighting a stick of incense and watching where the smoke wafts. If you detect any holes, cracks, or open seams around the exterior of your home, fill them using caulking or foam sealant.
Additionally, you can keep your windows extra-insulated by hanging heavy curtains or applying insulation films which you can purchase from your local hardware store.
Dirty filters are taxing on your furnace and can be a drain on your resources. Experts recommend changing your furnace’s air filter every two months during the winter months. And while you’re at it, it’s a good idea to have your device regularly serviced by licensed HVAC professional to ensure it is in top working order!
A programmable thermostat allows for more precise temperature control than an analog one. Suzuki says that you can save between one and a half and five percent on your monthly heating bill for every degree you reduce the thermostat.
Many digital thermostats can be programmed to automatically adjust the temperature of your home while you are at work or sleeping, creating significant savings on your family’s monthly energy bills. Some smart thermostats can even be controlled remotely from smartphones—what a world we live in!
Did you know that most ceiling fans allow you to reverse the rotation of the blades? When engaged, this setting will turn clockwise to pull cool breezes upwards. Amazing!
If you are looking to sell your home this winter, our team of seasoned real estate experts can help! Our enthusiastic and personable REALTORS® love what they do and where they get to do it! You can reach us at our St. Catharines office at 905-687-9229, or at our Niagara-on-the-Lake office at 905-468-9229. Or send us a message on our contact page, HERE.