How to prepare your house for winter

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Every year, homeowners all over Canada get ready to brace for months of wind, slush, snow and freezing temperatures. Without certain basics covered you could be left with a cold house, or worse. But there are steps you can take to make this often challenging season a safe, cozy and enjoyable one; and possibly even reduce the home insurance claims you may have to make.

Why weatherproof?

Preparing your house for the winter months is an easy way to help save money on energy bills. Below are a few simple projects you can take on yourself that cost little time and money.

Insulating

One of the best ways to conserve energy during the winter is to insulate all of the little nooks and crannies around your house. These leaks can often be microscopic, but no matter how small they are, they're still letting warm air out and cold air in. This is usually why you find yourself cranking the thermostat higher than you'd like to.

A trick to finding those sneaky little drafts you can't identify is to place a lit candle by a window, or a door, or any other area you suspect has a leak. Ensure you stay around while it's lit, and that anything flammable is well out of range when you do this. If the candle flickers, you have a leak, and you'll be able to see where it's coming from.

Get yourself some caulk and a caulking gun to seal gaps around windows and doors. You could also purchase one of the many available brands of spray foam to do the job. Spray foam expands to seal any form of leak quickly. You can check with your local hardware store to find out what options are available.

Weather-stripping

For a more thorough preparation for the colder months you can replace your weather-stripping around all of your door frames. But don't just stop at the doors. Check often-overlooked spots like around your mail slot and duct openings.

An easy way to check if your weather-stripping has leaks is to see if there are any spots where sunlight is poking through. Give the door a good shake and jostle from left to right, and if there are any gaps then you'll see light.

When it comes to weather-stripping, if you're in doubt, it is best that you apply it. Weather-stripping is always a smart investment. And don't forget hard-to-reach spots — these can be a hidden menace. Crawl spaces, attics and basement windows should be looked at every year.

Windows

Poorly insulated windows can leak a significant amount of heat in the winter months. Rubber-weather sealants are a good way to keep the cold out. These sealants are self-adhesive strips that can be cut to fit your window.

Even your décor can affect your heating bill. Heavy curtains help block the cold air from making its way into your house and circulating.

How to make a claim

Call 1-877-251-8656 to speak with a Claims Advisor.

Renewing your policy

Call 1-877-251-8652 for information regarding policy renewal.

Buying a new policy

Call 1-866-660-9035 for information on obtaining a quote.

Need help?

Take a look at the top 5 FAQs:

  • Why should I have home insurance?

    Why should I have home insurance?

    While the government doesn't require you to purchase home insurance, your mortgage-holder probably will - at least enough to cover its share of ownership. There are various kinds of home insurance that cover general and specific kinds of damage to your home, and you should research your options carefully. You can also buy specialized insurance to cover a condominium, home business, or other kind of property or valuables found in your home.

    Home insurance also includes liability coverage for people who are hurt on your property.

  • Why should I buy tenant's insurance when I live in an apartment and don't have many contents or valuables?

    Why should I buy tenant's insurance when I live in an apartment and don't have many contents or valuables?

    Most people would be surprised at the value of their personal property if they were to add it up and have to replace it all immediately. Think about your furniture, clothing, electronic equipment-then try to put a price tag to it all. Also, if you've purchased items on credit and they are stolen or destroyed by fire, you could still have to make the payments.

    Tenants insurance also includes liability insurance for damage the tenants or their guests cause to the building, for injuries in the rented home, etc.

  • How can I earn PC® points?

    How can I earn PC® points?

    When you use your President's Choice Financial® MasterCard® to pay your PC home insurance premium, you'll get 20 PC points per dollar of your premium. If you use your President's Choice Financial bank card to pay your PC home insurance premium, you'll get 10 PC points per dollar of your premium.

  • What is a deductible?

    What is a deductible?

    A deductible is your share of the amount that needs to be paid to cover the repair or replacement of your covered property before your insurance pays the rest.

  • How are premiums calculated?

    How are premiums calculated?

    The building itself has a lot to do with how your home insurance premiums are set. Many things about your home are taken into consideration including:

    • Its age and size
    • Type of building (detached, semi, high rise, etc)
    • Type of construction (brick, stucco, wood, etc)
    • Type of heating system
    • How close it is to a fire hydrant or fire station
    • Where it is located

See all Home Insurance FAQs

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