Winter in the Okanagan is the reason why so many people from the shivering prairies move or retire to Kelowna. Our winters are mild. So mild in fact that many people don’t even own a pair of winter boots.
So mild that there’s a fellow in the Glenmore area that likes to mow his grass on Christmas Day just because he can.
However, if you follow the Farmer’s Almanac, it is predicting that we may just have above average precipitation and that temperatures are going to be colder. Why not plan for it now? It may save you time when the flurries hit and aggravation when you can’t find your gloves and winter toque.
Gutters and Downspouts
This is a chore to take care of when most of the leaves have dropped and there are few pine cones falling from tall trees. Clean out the gutters and run your house to make sure there’s nothing clogging the down spouts. This will ensure that in the spring, when deeper than normal snow packs on your roof start to melt, that water will run clean. This matters because build-up of debris in your gutters can cause moisture to build on your shingles eventually causing rot.
Check for Drafts
Now is the time to check weather stripping around windows and doors. Remove any old stripping that has become brittle. Weather stripping is not that expensive and you don’t want to be fooling around with it when a winter window is howling. Check caulking for cracks.
Time for New Windows?
If your windows are old, why not get an estimate for replacement windows. If it’s not in this year’s budget, see if you can replace just one window, then do another in the spring, then another next fall. Spread out the expenses. Replacing even one old drafty window can make a difference.
Do you really want to look out through dirty windows at the sparkling white snow we’re expecting? This is one of those chores people hope to get around to. Pick a sunny day and just do it.
How’s Your Insulation?
Have you recently moved into a new home in Kelowna? Did your house inspection reveal a deficit in your attic insulation but you haven’t been concerned when winter temps are never raw and biting? Think about it now or you may be facing an unexpected heating bill. You might like to insulate and drywall your garage while you’re at it. Check with the B.C. Government and with Fortis BC to see if you qualify for any rebates with any energy upgrades you undertake this fall.
Roll up your Garden Hose
Some folks are tempted to leave out their garden hose all winter but if temperatures get critical for a long period of time, frozen hose can crack and then you’ll have to run out in the spring and buy more.
Light Up Your House
We’re so lucky – some folks in Kelowna can put up Christmas lights right when the season begins. Follow the lead of those in colder climates that put up their lights before Hallowe’en when the weather is reasonable. It’s safer, it’s warmer and your lights will look much better than if they’re thrown up in haste at the end of November.