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    Time to Winterize!

    Even though we’ve had a reprieve from colder temperatures, winter is still on the way, and you still have time to winterize your home.

    Here are 5 easy ways to winterize and protect your investment:

    1. Seal up leaks in doors and windows with weather-stripping and/or caulk.
    2. Don’t heat an empty house! Invest in a programmable thermostat.
    3. Have your insulation checked to see if any needs to be added.
    4. Schedule a furnace  and water heater tune-up. Remember to change furnace filters and consider insulating your water heater and exposed hot water pipes.
    5. Clean gutters and turn off the water to outside spigots. Drain the lines and check for pipes in unheated spaces to prevent frozen or broken pipes.



    Is there radon in your home?

    Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas, formed by the breakdown of uranium present in all soil and rock.

    Some radon may be present in almost all homes, but the amount of radon depends on several factors: soil characteristics, type of construction, foundation condition, pressure difference between house and the soil, and weather.

    Because of the many factors contributing the radon amounts, the way to know the amount in your home is to test by purchasing a kit or hiring and professional.

    For more information on radon, click on the resources below:






    Home security tips while you’re away on a winter vacation

    Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

    Going away for a winter vacation is more fun when you can relax knowing your home is safe!

    Here are some home security tips and suggestions to help give you peace of mind while you are away.

    To protect your home, consider both security against break-ins and preventing any internal or external damage.

    Don’t signal that you are not home whether it’s for a weekend or a few months, during the winter it’s easy to tell when someone is not home:

    • Shorter days means unlit windows are obvious as early as 4 p.m.

    • Frequent snowfalls leave a snow buildup and a lack of tire tracks in your driveway.

    • Trash not taken out to the curb on garbage day shows you are not home.

    • Unopened accumulated mail and flyers is also a telltale sign.

    The first thing you may wish to do is take precautions for the security of your home. Make your home look lived in and also secure your entryways and valuables:

    • Prevent burglary by making your home looked lived in.

    • Set your lights on a timer so they turn on when it gets dark.

    • Arrange for snow removal and salt your walkways.

    • Arrange for mail pick-up or forwarding.

    • Ensure that your house and belongings are secure.

    • Disable your garage door to prevent a break-in.

    • Use deadbolt locks on your external doors and windows and sliding locks on glass doors or French doors.

    • Gather your valuables and store them at another location or in a safe.

    • Advise your local police station that your home will be unoccupied and perhaps a patrol car may be able to swing by during occasional shifts.

    • Don’t post on social media about leaving for vacation.

    • Prevent appliance malfunctions and damage.

    The next main concern for leaving your home during the winter is the risk of any damage occurring. From weather to malfunctioning appliances, you may want to consider a number of areas to keep your home safe:

    • Get your furnace checked for routine maintenance. You want to ensure your home temperature will be stable in your absence.

    • Have an electrician inspect your main electrical panel and general wiring to prevent risk of any outages.

    • Keep your room doors and cabinet doors open to let warm air circulate where pipes are located.

    • Prevent flooding: shut off the water to washing machines and dishwashers, drain and shut off outdoor water faucets.

    • Prevent rodents and pests: clean your oven, get rid of any perishable or uneaten food, and close your fireplace flue.

    Last but not least, for your peace of mind, consider asking a trusted friend or neighbour to check in on your place when you are gone. They can look for signs of burglary, burst pipes, or any damage. A trusted visitor can also make your house look lived in, keeping your snow cleared and collecting your mail.

    — SmartMoves, Canada Post.


    Stay warm and safe this winter






    Space heaters are not a permanent solution for heating your home, but sometimes they are nice to use to add some warmth and comfort on cold winter days. Here are some tips to stay safe and avoid potential shock or fire:

    • Make sure the space heater is suitable for where you intend to use it.
    • Place the space heater where it won’t be near any flammable materials.
    • Check for a model with a tip-over switch that turns off the heater if it is knocked over.
    • NEVER USE AN EXTENSION CORD. Always plug your space heater directly into an outlet.
    • Never leave children unsupervised in rooms where a space heater is running.

    For more safety information check our the December 2017 issue of Energy Matters from Manitoba Hydro