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Winterizing Your Cottage for Ontario Winters is Easy with GNI

October 25, 2019

Winterizing your CottageAlthough it may seem a bit intimidating at first, winterizing a cottage is actually a fairly straightforward and easy process with the right help. With GNI, you can be certain that your relaxing getaway spot will be well prepared for the coldest months, and that the most cost-effective pathway for strong winterization was taken. Our expert insulation consultants are able to help you select the right insulation products for your needs and budget, and will gladly conduct a free inspection of your home or cottage to help you get started.

Without professional help, it is easy to incur unwanted or unforeseen expenses when winterizing your cottage. Issues such as hidden air leaks, building envelope problems, or faulty insulation can all impact your cottage’s ability to keep you warm through the winter - and can be extremely difficult to diagnose and treat by yourself. With GNI’s insulation experts by your side, you are able to draw up a plan for winterizing effectively and affordably, and then stick to that plan without worry of hidden expenses or unforeseen problems.

To learn more about winterizing your cottage with GNI, or to schedule a time for a free assessment from our expert insulation consultants, contact our Customer Experience Team by phone at 1-800-265-1914, or online through our website's live-chat feature.

What is Cottage Winterization?

Cottage winterization is the act of upgrading and improving a cottage, so that it is inhabitable and comfortable during the coldest months of the year. In a very real sense, winterization is extending the amount of time that you are able to spend at your getaway spot, since it would otherwise need to be closed down for the winter.

There are many different ways that a cottage / building can be upgraded so that it is well winterized, but every different method essentially boils down to one concept: have effective insulation and strong air sealing. While this may be over-simplifying things a little bit, it is still worth noting that a building with high levels of insulation and air sealing will be much more capable at maintaining a comfortable interior temperature during the winter, than a building with poor insulation and numerous air leaks.

This also means that by winterizing your cottage through insulation and air sealing improvements, you are also upgrading its overall energy performance all year long. This means lower utility bills, a more comfortable interior temperature (no matter the season), better air quality, and oftentimes a higher market value - since strong energy performance is becoming an increasingly desirable commodity on the real estate market.

Is Winterizing My Cottage Worth it?

If you have any intentions of spending time at your cottage during the winter (or even during the colder parts of spring and fall), then winterizing is absolutely worth it! This is especially true if your getaway spot is in a region that gets extremely cold or windy. Additionally, by winterizing your cottage you are also working to improve its energy performance, which provides you with a tremendous number of benefits - even during the summer.

Any building that has been well winterized will also be well air sealed and well insulated. This means that in the summer, it is easier to maintain a comfortable temperature inside, and that less reliance needs to be placed on your air conditioner. It also means that there will be fewer drafts that detract from the cozyness of your living spaces, and that you will have a lower risk of moisture control problems, such as mould or mildew.

Overall, a winterized cottage is a comfortable and an enjoyable place to be any month of the year. Also, through the Home Efficiency Rebate program, any Ontarian homeowner who is a customer of either Union Gas or Enbdrige Gas can apply for rebates totaling up to $5,000 to help improve their building’s energy efficiency. And since winterizing a home involves many of the same improvements that are outlined in the program, GNI can ensure that you are aiming for the right rebate to make your cottage winterization as affordable and as effective as possible. 

What is the Difference Between Winterizing a Home and Winterizing a Cottage?

Fundamentally, there is no difference between winterizing a home and winterizing a cottage. However, the most cost-effective method of winterization varies from building to building - no matter the building type. In other words, while both a home and a cottage can largely be winterized by strong airtightness and effective insulation, the method of improving the insulation and airtightness can differ.

Depending on the climate that surrounds the building (which includes humidity levels, temperature ranges, wind gusts etc.), the need for stronger winterization may be required. For example, a building in the Vancouver area may need more focus placed on strategies that will help control humidity and regulate airflow (due to the common occurrences of wind and rain along with the temperate climate), whereas a building near Thunder Bay would likely need a different strategy for winterizing that focuses on higher R-Levels and airtightness (to combat the colder & longer winters).

For this reason, GNI often recommends for homeowners and cottage owners who are thinking about winterizing to have an energy audit conducted by a registered energy advisor. This provides you with a complete look at the energy performance of your entire home, along with a list of suggestions detailing how you could most cost-effectively improve your energy efficiency. Additionally, an energy audit will also help you to qualify for any of the home reno rebates that the Home Efficiency Rebate program currently has to offer.

At your request, GNI will arrange for you to have an energy audit conducted and can help you understand the results. If you have any questions about winterizing, the benefits of an energy audit, or how energy efficiency works to improve a building of any size or shape, give our Customer Experience Team a call at 1-800-265-1914, or message us online at http://www.gni.ca/contact. From here, you can also arrange to have a free in-home evaluation done by our insulation consultants, providing you with a jump-off point for future home improvements. Call GNI now and let us make your cottage winterization easy!

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