5 Ways to Get a Head Start for Fall in Metro Vancouver

Posted on: September 12th, 2014 by Ashton Service Group
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Metro Vancouver is experiencing some nice summery weather in the daytime and cooling down quite a bit in the evening. Unlike our neighbors in Calgary who skip fall and went straight to winter, we have the time to get our homes ready for autumn.

People do not enjoy doing it but it is really important when it starts to rain day after day.

1. Clean those gutters.  

Once the leaves start to fall in Metro Vancouver, remove them and other debris from your  gutters in any manner, by hand, by scraper or spatula, and finally with a  hose rinse — so that rain and melting snow! can drain. Clogged drains can form ice dams, that leads to water backing up, freezing and causing water to seep into the house.

While you are hosing out your gutters, look for leaks and pipes that are misaligned. Make sure the downspouts are carrying water away from the foundation, where it could cause flooding or other water damage to your home. The rule of thumb is that water should be at least 10 feet away from the house.

2. Block those leaks.

One of the best ways to winterize your home is to simply block obvious leaks around your house, both inside and outside. How to find the leaks, on a windy day, walk around inside the house holding a lit incense stick to the most common drafty areas and see if the incense smokes drifts away at recessed lighting, window and door frames and electrical outlets.  Next buy door sweeps to close spaces under exterior doors, and caulk or apply tacky rope caulk to those spots you find drafty.

Outside,  you can seal leaks with weather-resistant caulk that you can purchase at most home hardware stores like Canadian Tire or Home Depot. For brick areas, use masonry sealer, which will stand up better to freezing and thawing. Even if you find a small crack, it’s worth sealing up to save energy and discouraging any insects from entering your home.

3. Insulate, insulate, insulate.

Adding insulation to the existing insulation in the attic cost a little money but you get your return back really quick with energy savings. Don’t hurt your brain with measuring tape, the rule of thumb on whether you need to add insulation: If you go into the attic and you can see the ceiling joists you know you don’t have enough, because a ceiling joist is at most 10 or 11 inches and you need a minimum of 12 inches.

4. Check the furnace!

First thing first is turn your furnace on to make sure it is  working, before the cold weather happens. A strong, short-lasting smell is natural when firing up the furnace in the autumn; simply open windows to clear the rooms. But if the smell lasts a long time, shut down the furnace and call a professional to check it out. It is recommended by the manufacturer’s to have your furnace tuned up/maintained each year. A professional heating technician will thoroughly inspect a number of components of your furnace. Ashton Service Group’s heating tune-up for Metro Vancouver homes has over 20 points to go over to ensure your furnace is running in its most optimal condition.

Throughout the winter you should change the furnace filters regularly (check them monthly). A dirty filter reduces air flow and efficiency. Toss out the dirty fiberglass filters; reusable electrostatic or electronic filters can be washed. If you do experience an issue, we are here for all of your metro Vancouver furnace repair needs!

5. Check those alarms!

Check your smoke alarms-this is a great time to check the operation and change the batteries. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. Test them, with older ones a small bit of actual smoke from a candle or incense can trigger it and not just by pressing the “test” button. Check to see that your fire extinguisher is still where it should be, and if it still works. Or if you don’t have one this would be the time to go buy one and invest in a carbon monoxide detector or replace your smoke detectors.

If you would like to get your home’s heating system checked on, please give us a call at 604-283-2383 to schedule an appointment before the cold weather hits Metro Vancouver. Please inquire about our Gold Ashton Value Plan which includes a free heating or cooling inspection the following year.

 

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