There’s nothing more than these sub-zero temperatures to make you decide to book a vacation to a warmer clime.

Before you go, make sure you’ve covered your bases to keep your home safe from the cold, with these pre-trip tips from Darren MacDonald, regional operations manager at Reliance.

Furnace check: “If you haven’t done so already, schedule a furnace check-up to ensure your furnace is working properly. A qualified technician can ensure that burners and filters are clean and dust-free and confirm that the furnace is operating safely.”

Temperature control: “Thermostats should be set lower (approximately: 16C or 60F) to save energy. Do not set your thermostat below 15C to prevent damaging your furnace and to keep pipes and appliances from freezing.”

Get unplugged: “Disconnect minor appliances (i.e. computers, toaster ovens, coffee makers, etc.) to avoid using energy while you’re gone and protect them from electrical surges in the event of a winter power outage. An automatic timer for lights can help conserve energy while also giving the appearance of someone being home.“

Between the pipes: “Turning off the main water supply can mean the difference between a small drip and a major flood. Pipes and all other water appliances should also be drained. Once the main water supply is shut off, simply open the taps at high and low points throughout the house. Do not drain the water heater. If you have a gas water heater, make sure it is off if you shut off the water in your home.”

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