9 Hot Tips To Survive The Cold in Ottawa

With winter’s early arrival — even though we’ve had a slight reprieve — we can sometimes forget the importance of preparing our homes for the cold and snowy weather. Here are 9 top tips to help get you and your home ready for the season.

Preparing you!

  1. Sharpen your skates: The Rideau Canal Skateway and local outdoor rinks are a great way for families to enjoy winter and get active. Be ready by getting your skates sharpened.

  2. Dress in layers: The weather is volatile at this time of year, sometimes quite mild, sometimes rather cold. When heading outdoors for the day, be aware of the weather in advance so you can dress appropriately. Wearing wind- and rain-resistant coats, mittens and hats, waterproof boots and warm clothing can help to make your outing comfortable and keep your body temperatures normal. 

  3. Plan your route: With all the travel issues that have been going on in the city — LRT hang-ups, Queensway traffic jams, other major routes like the SJAM torn up — getting from point A to point B can be an adventure, to say the least. Be prepared to travel through the snow (have you made arrangements to get your snow tires on yet?), give yourself more travel time and expect delays.

  4. Get festive: Winter lasts a long time in Ottawa, so filling your calendar with fun family events that embrace the season can help you enjoy and take in the winter wonderland.

Preparing your home!

  1. Furnace maintenance: Now that the furnace is running, make sure your furnace filters are clean. They’ll likely need changing. And, if you have not yet done so, get the furnace and chimney cleaned and inspected. Annual cleaning and inspections keep things running smoothly and help identify small problems before they become big ones.

  2. Clear your gutters: Even if you did a fall clean-up, chances are your gutters have more leaves in them. Be sure to clear out your eavestroughs to prevent build-up of water, snow and ice. When leaves and other debris are left in the gutters, they can cause ice damming along the ridge of your roof, which prevents melting snow from draining and potentially forcing it to find a way down by leaking into your home. 

  3. Roof check: While you’re cleaning out the gutters, check the roof for worn shingles. Your roof is one of the primary means of defence against the elements. If the roof is showing signs of wear, it may be time to replace it. 

  4. Test your detectors: Did you test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when the clocks went back? If not, do it now and while you’re at it, change out the batteries for fresh ones.

  5. Inspect windows and doors: Minimize heat loss throughout your home with good weather stripping and caulking. Check all doors and windows and if there are cracks, leaks or moisture build-up, replace the sealants.


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