Preparing for cold temperatures through home winterization will improve your comfort and cut your heating costs. Preparing your home before the frigid temperatures hit will also prevent more serious structural or plumbing problems that could be inconvenient and costly.
- Clean the gutters. Clogged gutters set the stage for ice dam formation. As the snow melts, the water won’t be able to drain and it will freeze in the gutters. As it accumulates, ice dams will grow. When they melt, they can cause serious structural damage to the exterior of your home and the attic.
- Stop the air leaks. Inspect the window frames and your home’s exterior for cracks that let cold air enter. Caulk works well for sealing cracks indoors and out. Exterior doors may need fresh weatherstripping, and a draft blocker at the base will stop cold air from entering your home.
- Deal with the fireplace. Test the fireplace damper by closing it and placing a lighted candle or incense stick inside the firebox to see if the flame or smoke flicker. An ill fitting damper allows air to escape up the chimney that can account for substantial energy losses. Chimney balloons are available that will tighten up the seal to prevent air losses.
- Check the pipes. Preventing frozen pipes is an important step in winterization. Water pipes that run through cold or uninsulated areas can freeze quickly and do considerable damage. Wrapping them with heat tape or foam insulation prevents plumbing problems. Make sure that outdoor spigots are turned off and any water is drained from hoses and pipes.
- Change the air filter. Make a note to check the air filter for your furnace monthly and change it when it’s dirty. A dirty filter drives up energy costs and harms your HVAC system.
- Switch the ceiling fans. Running a ceiling fan clockwise will pull warmer air near the ceiling down to the living areas and actually increase the temperature.
The experts at Arpi’s Industries can give you more tips for winterization. We provide trusted HVAC and home services for Calgary-area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about winterizing your home and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.
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