88373HThe cold, moisture, ice and snow that comes each year with the winter months certainly takes its toll on your home. For this reason, staying on top of routine home maintenance is key. Now that February has arrived and we’re halfway through the winter season, there are a few checks that you should be doing to ensure that all the ‘working parts’ of your home survive any storm that comes our way.

• February is a good time to check your furnace again. Hopefully you had your heating system checked by a qualified professional in the fall, so take a look at your filter and ensure that it doesn’t need to be cleaned or replaced.

• Examine windows and doors for ice or cold air leaks. You can use a candle or match to complete this check. Simply hold the flame near the window or door and watch for flickering. Take care to keep flame well away from drapes and wood! Alternatively, an air leak detector, otherwise known as an infrared thermometer, can measure the ambient air temperatures around your windows and doors, indicating any spots where colder temperatures are present, allowing you to pinpoint where a leak is coming from.

• Examine your home for excessive moisture. A little foggy patch on the corners of your windows is ok – your entire window blocked by fog or water dripping from the windows onto your woodwork is NOT. For tips to reduce moisture in your home, visit the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation website at www.cmhc.gc.ca.

• If you haven’t done so already, maximize hot air in your home by reversing your ceiling fans so that the blades run in a clockwise direction. Energy Star recommends this tip to help push the hot air down into the room.

• Vacuum and wipe down the vents in your home – don’t forget the cold air returns.

• Do a quick walk around your home and clear any large snow piles close to your foundation.

• Ensure that your downspouts are all flowing properly – this is very important when that spring thaw occurs.

By taking the time now to stay on top of home maintenance, your home’s systems will last longer.