Preparing Your Calgary Home for Winter this Fall
As Fall approaches, make note of the ways you can prepare your home for Winter. By tackling a task or two each weekend, you can be totally ready to welcome the chilly Winter temps knowing your home is ready for the weather.
Not sure where to start? We have a to-do list to get you started.
After a Summer of not being used, your furnace may need a little attention. For a reasonable expense, you can hire a technician to come give the heating system a tune-up and inspection, making sure everything is going to function safely and effectively that first time you crank it up.
The furnace filter should be inspected monthly during the seasons your use it most. Change it when the clocks go back or forward for daylight savings time.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Most ceiling fans have a switch that determines which order they rotate. During the cooler months, set your fans to rotate clockwise. This will create an updraft that pushes warm air from the furnace down into the room, the opposite of what you've wanted it to do all Summer long.
Inspect Tree Branches
Winter can be a dangerous time when the snow begins to fall and temperatures stay well below freezing for a while. Potentially hazardous tree branches on your property should be identified long before they have a chance to wreak havoc on your home during a winter storm.
Any limbs that are growing over the house, garage, driveway, or power lines should be trimmed to a safer size. The same goes for any dead limbs, which are a problem waiting to happen.
Clean Out Gutters
Crowded gutters can cause a variety of problems, especially as more leaves begin to fall. Full gutters in the Fall can mean a dam for water in the Winter, which will turn into ice that can damage the roof, siding, and trim.
Consider hiring a professional to clean your gutters this fall to avoid an unpleasant surprise a few months down the road. This is also something many people are happy to DIY, especially if they have a single-story home.
Lubricate Door Locks
When the temperatures drop drastically, sometimes the lock in your front door can freeze or stick. To prevent this from happening, buy some powdered-graphite lubricant, sold at any hardware store, and spray it directly into the lock.
This only needs to be done once in the season and will prevent pins from sticking and the lock from freezing.
Blow Out the Sprinklers
If your home has a sprinkler system, don't forget to empty it by hiring someone for a sprinkler blowout. Turning the irrigation water off is not sufficient, as any residual water in the sprinkler pipes can freeze, expanding to potentially burst and crack the pipes.
This is likely something you won't be able to DIY, as it requires special equipment. A local professional can accomplish the task quickly and easily to give you peace of mind.
Block Drafts from Windows, Baseboards, and Doors
Houses can settle and adjust, creating drafts that you will notice much more in the Winter than you did in the Summer. With some caulking, weather stripping, and adjustment of door thresholds, you can easily patch up any drafts that will otherwise allow cold air in.
If you aren't sure whether there are any drafts, take a lit candle and move it along your door frame, window sills, and baseboards. If the flame flickers, you have identified the location of a draft that is going to need some caulking or weather stripping.
Shut off exterior Taps/Hose Bib
It is important to shut off your exterior water souces as they can freeze outside and migrate into you pipes inside your home. If it freezes and cracks you can have a flooded basement. Some manufacturers advertise frost-free, but best practice is to turn it off on the iinside valve and bleed the line (discharge the water that fills the line to the outside) and open the outside tap so it is dry. This should be done about waters freezing point . For complete instructions check out this video.
Turn Humidifier to Winter setting
A simple lever with most humidifiers have a summer/winter setting. The winter setting should be set so it does not cause condensation on the inside of your windows. This can damage and even rot you window frames. You may have to test you humidity periodically and also be aware of he weather outside as it can fluctuate.
Clean the Fireplace
If your home has a fireplace, don't forget to have it thoroughly cleaned before the season begins. This is the best way to ensure the comfort and safety of your entire family as you enjoy your cozy home all Winter.
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