For Toronto condo owners, somehow winter seems to catch us by surprise every year.
The summers here are great. Glorious, even, enjoying the urban condo lifestyle in this great city of ours.
Soon enough, however, fall is upon us once again, and winter isn’t that far off the horizon.
Many people who buy a condo in Toronto assume that they’re getting a maintenance free, turn-the-key-and-walk-away solution. While owning a Toronto condo comes with much less effort or hassle than owning a house in the Toronto / GTA suburbs, condos are not 100% free of maintenance requirements.
In this edition of the Toronto Condo HVAC blog, we’ll cover the basic of how to prepare your Toronto condo for the upcoming winter.
Why Weatherproofing Is Vital for Your Toronto Condo in Winter
Winterizing, or winter-proofing as some folks like to call it, is not an overly challenging process – but it is essential to keep your Toronto condo in good operating condition during the winter months and beyond.
While your Toronto condo corporation takes care of the exterior or “envelope” of the building itself, there are key components within your unit that every Toronto condo owner should be well familiar with and on top of as the seasons change.
What we’ll cover here applies to the day-to-day operations, safety and comfort of your Toronto condo. Should you have plans to leave Toronto and head out of town for a period of time this winter, you’ll want to double down and take extra precautions that your Toronto condo unit is well protected from the winter elements whilst you are away.
Pre-Winter Prep for Your Toronto Condo
As we enjoy the pumpkin spice and crisp air in the autumn months, that hint of cold reminds us that another Toronto winter is on its way.
That means now’s a great time to give your Toronto condo winter TLC, so that you stay warm and comfortable throughout the winter.
Winterproof Your Windows & Doors
When it comes to feeling a “draft” or “chill” in your Toronto condo unit, one of the biggest culprits is cold air entering your condo through the windows.
Caulk your windows along the edges so that no gaps are present. Be sure not to caulk over any parts that open, though!
If you have blinds or thinner window coverings, consider investing in heavier, insulated curtains. Not only will insulated curtains keep cold air out of your Toronto unit, they have the added bonus effect of letting in less light at nighttime and early morning (your future self will thank you in summers to come!).
Also check the weather stripping and seals around your doors (e.g. patio door or balcony door). If these are loose, replacing the stripping and/or seal will help keep cold air out of your Toronto condo and thus is a good investment.
Winterizing Condo Air Conditioning Units
If your Toronto condo doesn’t have central air conditioning but rather has a window A/C unit, balcony unit or portable air conditioner, you’ll want to winterize these as well.
If you have a window A/C or portable air conditioning system, you can take these down and put them away for the winter. Then seal the window so that cold air stays out of your condo.
For Toronto condos with a balcony air conditioner, you can cover up the A/C unit with a tarp or cover to keep snow, ice and moisture out.
This is also the time you’ll want to cover up any furniture and other items on your condo balcony or patio.
Consider a Draft Stopper and/or a Humidifier
In addition to the above steps, there are a couple of items that you may want to invest in for winter comfort in your Toronto condo.
The first is a draft stopper.
These handy, inexpensive devices cover the gaps at doors and windows, helping to keep cold air out.
The cost will be more than offset after a few winters, and you’ll stay warm, comfy and cozy through the winter.
Another feature that many Toronto condo owners use in the winter is a humidifier.
Your Toronto condo’s HVAC (heating) system will actually run more efficiently if there is an optimum level of humidity in the air. In the winter, when the Toronto air tends to be dry, adding moisture to your condo’s environment with a humidifier is a good step.
A humidifier will also help protect you and your family against dry skin.
Going Out of Town? Take These Steps for Your Condo Unit
If you are leaving town for an extended period of time and your Toronto condo will remain unoccupied, here are some pointers:
- Keep your condo’s fan coil and/or heat pump on.
- Keep your ERV on (see below for HVAC tips)
- Turn off the main water supply valve
- Program your thermostat to keep the heat on but at a lower temperature
- Have a friend, neighbour or property manager check in on your condo unit periodically
- Ensure to close and seal all doors and windows
- Unplug all appliances (except those essential for condo operations)
By following these steps for Toronto condo winterizing you can have peace of mind.
Talk to a HVAC
Toronto Condo HVAC Steps for Winter
An easy step you can take on your own with regard to HVAC in your Toronto condo unit is to switch directions on your ceiling fan(s).
Many ceiling fans are built to rotate in two directions: One to cool air in the summertime, and the other to redistribute warm air from the ceiling to the rest of the room.
Do not turn off your ERV (energy recovery ventilator), and be sure to let it defrost as needed.
Beyond this, a great investment to stay warm in the winter is to call on a Toronto condo HVAC expert for heating tune-ups and winterizing.
We’ll check your fan coil or heat pump filters, making sure they are in proper operating condition, and we’ll make any adjustments or heating repairs as needed.
Contact us today to book your Toronto condo HVAC winterizing.