Winterizing Your Home
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Winterizing Your Home

You’ve dug out your winter gear and snow brush, you’ve gotten your shovel out of storage and you’ve stocked up on your favorite warm beverages – you’re ready to ride out Alberta’s frozen winter months! But, what about your home? Did you know it also needs to prepare for the dropping temps and frigid days ahead?

Here is a list of tasks to complete to help winterize your home to ensure a comfortable and worry-free winter season.

REPLACE YOUR FURNACE FILTERS

Replace your furnace filter on a regular basis. These filters tend to get clogged as the furnace is working hard and of course it is working overtime during the winter months. Replace these filters at least once every 1-2 months. If there is a dirty filter in the furnace, it can cause the furnace to shut off as it is unable to push air through the ducts.

WATCH THE HUMIDITY

Ensure that your humidistat is turned down in the winter months. When it is cold outside, moisture is less able to escape your home therefore it will find places in your home to hide. This can be on windowsills, under exterior doors and most importantly in the attic. Then when we experience a chinook, the moisture has nowhere to go but into the nooks and crannies, potentially causing damage.

Recommended humidity levels are as follows:
– 30 or lower = 15%
– 30 to -24 = 15-20%
– 24 to -18 = 20-25%
– 18 to -12 = 25-30%
– 12 to -6 = 30-35%
– 6 to 0 = 35-40%

In addition, make sure to run your fans! Bathroom fans should be on during your shower and for approximately 30 minutes afterwards. Your stove’s overhead fan should also be on when you are cooking to help ward off excess moisture.

PROTECT YOUR PATIO FURNITURE

Our harsh winters can put a lot of strain on patio furniture. To avoid unnecessary wear and maintenance, keep everything covered when possible and store your cushions indoors to protect them from moisture and mildew.

ADD A RUG OR TWO

Hardwood, tile and laminate are popular flooring options, but those hard surfaces can get chilly very quickly. While few people go for wall-to-wall carpets, adding an area rug or two over the winter months can help insulate your home and make it feel cozier and more inviting.

KEEP THE HEAT ON

When temperatures drop, the risk of frozen and burst pipes is heightened. To prevent this, program your therostat at a minimum of 18°C even while you’re away. This will help ensure that the pipes in your home do not fall victim to the cold temperatures.

REVERSE YOUR CEILING FANS

Many ceiling fans have a reverse mode. When they turn clockwise, they push down the warm air that pools near the ceiling and circulates it through the room, adding to the warmth and coziness of your space.

USE DRAFT STOPPERS

If your home has an entrance with immediate access to the outdoors, you should plan for the inevitable draft of cold air sneaking in under the door. A draft stopper does just as the name suggests and helps limit the of cold air that makes it through the cracks. These simple devices can easily be found at your local hardware store, craft markets, online or you can even make your own. DIY project anyone?

INSTALL INSULATED CURTAINS

Everyone loves big windows and natural light. Unfortunately, all that glass can make your apartment feel much colder in the winter months. One of the best ways to help keep warm air in and cold air out is to invest in insulated curtains. Steer clear of lightweight materials like lace and instead look for dense materials like tapestry, denim or suede.

It doesn’t take much to get your home ready for Old Man Winter, a single weekend is all you need to fortify your defences against the chilly onslaught to come. Properly winterizing your home will ensure you have a warm, safe nest in which to hibernate and as a bonus, the energy efficient solutions will leave money in the bank for holiday shopping or maybe that tropical vacation you’ve been yearning for.