Whether you use a woodstove, a fireplace, or just the odd cool-season campfire, you’re going to want to have enough firewood on site to get you through to spring. While it’s too late to cut and season firewood for this year yourself, click here for some tips on how to store your wood.
Chimney fires, caused by a build-up of creosote, are a major source of home and cottage fires across Canada. You should have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year or so, depending on how often you use it. You can reduce the amount of creosote by only using properly seasoned firewood and not burning plastic or other trash in the fire.
If your cottage has a forced-air furnace, you should have it serviced every year or two. In between service calls, you should regularly replace the furnace filters. You should also make sure that the vent covers are not blocked by furniture or other items that will inhibit airflow.
If you heat with oil or propane, get your tank(s) filled up now while the road is still passable.
If you heat with electric baseboards, open up the front cover and dust off and vacuum the heating fins to ensure proper airflow and to avoid that burnt smell when you first turn them on for the season.
If you have a window-mounted air conditioner you should remove it now and store it away for the season. With that out of the way, you can install the storm windows if you have them. If you have older, drafty windows, you can seal them up with shrink-in-place plastic kits available at any hardware store. Here are some detailed tips for finding and stopping drafts.
Ceiling fans are designed to circulate in two directions: clockwise and counter-clockwise. In the warmer months, you want them spinning in a counter-clockwise direction to push cool air down. But for the cooler months, pull the chain to change the rotation to clockwise and turn your fan on to the lowest setting. This helps circulate the warm air that naturally rises to the ceiling without casting a chilling breeze.