Living in Canada means dealing with harsh Canadian winter while ensuring that your home is heated safely. This includes fire safety as well as choosing the most efficient and cost-effective heating system. The home insurance experts at Aviva have tips on fire safety and energy efficiency to maximize your family’s safety and comfort during cold days and nights.
During cold evenings, a warm blanket and well-equipped fireplace are all you need for a cozy night in. However, it’s also important to be aware of fire prevention and what your home insurance policy offers.
Here are few maintenance pointers to ensure that your fireplace remains a place of enjoyment in your home:
· Get your fireplace ready: To avoid fire and smoke damage, make sure that the damper opens and closes properly. If your chimney hasn’t been cleaned in a while, call a chimney sweeper.
· Remove flammable materials: Clear the area next to your fireplace of all flammable items including newspapers, carpets and fabrics. Even a small spark of fire can quickly spiral out of control.
· Stay equipped: Install smoke detectors throughout your home. Time is of the essence when dealing with fires and a smoke detector can help avoid major disasters.
· Fireplace accessories: Invest in a few tending tools. These can be used to rotate logs, ensure oxygen flow and clean up ashes—small steps that go a long way in fire prevention.
· Check your insurance policy: Know your insurer’s guidelines and coverage so there are no surprises if you need to file a claim for damage. For example, many companies only cover fire damage if fireplaces are installed professionally.
Following these simple tips will ensure that your fireplace only leaves your family with pleasant memories this season.
Efficient home heating
With energy costs continuing to increase, many home owners are turning to new and more efficient ways to heat their home in addition to gas heating and home fireplaces. The good news is that there are several heat source options to consider and they are all energy efficient options. Here are three alternative ways that many people are now using to heat their homes:
· Solar power: This is perhaps the most popular alternative way to heat your home. The system uses solar panels to collect energy. Homes in cold weather climate tend to benefit the most from this system.
· Geothermal heating: This method is not only one of the most efficient, it is also very environmentally friendly. This system uses the earth’s heat, large coils that are buried underground, and a compressor to extract heat from water that is stored in tubes. While the initial cost to install the system is expensive, it offers savings of 40-60% every year on their energy bills, therefore it will pay for itself in a few years, not to mention it may increase the resale value of your home.
· Hydronic heating: Also referred to as radiant floor heating, this energy efficient form of heating uses tubes that run under the floors of your home. Hot water is pumped through the plastic tubes and heats your floors and rooms as a result.
Before making the transition, make sure that you carefully weigh all your heating options. Do your research and choose the one that is best suited for your home.
If you do decide to install an alternative heating/cooling system in your home, please ensure to contact your insurance broker or agent so they can update your records.