It is no surprise to Calgarian’s that our weather is as unpredictable as ….. Well Calgary’s weather (best analogy we can use, honestly) – Especially in the winter months. Even though we may be blessed with constant Chinooks, our temperatures dips below the 0 degree Celsius mark more than we would like to acknowledge. We here at Platinum have complied a short list of tips to help winterize your Calgary home.
1. Remove Branches that are too close to your home – In the winter months, we see our fair share of snowfall. Calgary sees an average of 126cm of snowfall annually – most of which occurs during the winter months. Heavy snowfall can translate into branches accumulating snow and possibly falling onto your home. Cut down any branches that may pose a danger of damaging your home if it were to fall.
2. Prevent frozen water pipes – The average Calgary low temperature during the winter months is around -13.5 degrees Celsius – that being said, Calgarian’s know that we see our fair share of -20 degrees Celsius or below temperatures. The pipes in our homes are designed with cold temperatures in mind, but quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats set too low can cause a pipe to freeze. Booth Copper and plastic pipes can burst when they freeze, leaving you with a water damage nightmare. Insulating Pipes, fixing seal air leaks (which let cold air inside), keeping your thermostat above 12 degrees Celsius, and disconnecting garden hoses and shutting off the supply to outdoor faucets are great measures to help prevent frozen/burst water pipes.
3. Check your Heating System – Before winter begins, it may be a great idea to get routine maintenance done on your furnace. Call in a heating professional and get your furnace checked out. Replace filters if needed, vacuum furnace interior, check the fan belt and lubricate the oil bearings. This will ensure your furnace is running efficiently, and may save you money on energy costs!
4. “Clean gutters to get rid of any fall leaves that build up” – This tip comes from Jertyne Interior Services Calgary – Insulation Contractors – Cold and Heat. Clean your gutters – Gutters that are full of leaves will trap water in the winter and may result in a backup of water underneath the roof. One occurrence that can happen when temperatures are below freezing is ice dams. This is when snow melts over the heated area of the roof and runs down to the unheated eaves and refreezes. Unblocking the eaves will help the water flow properly. If ice builds up it forms an ice dam – This will cause water from melting snow to back up under singles and roof, causing leaks into the home. (Follow Jertyne Interior Services Calgary – Insulation Contractors on twitter @JertyneInterior)
5. Insulate doors and windows – Did you know that approximately 30% of a home’s heat escapes through small cracks and holes under doors and around windows? Inspecting doors and windows for drafts will help you determine what needs some attention. Use caulking, spray foam, or weather stripping around windows and doors. If you are concerned about sealing your home too tightly, hire a qualified contractor to fix any drafts or air leaks. The result will be a more evenly heated home and reduction in utility costs!