Winter is right around the corner here in Calgary and let’s face it. From the constant freeze-thaw cycle to the harsh winds and extremely cold temperatures, our homes endure quite a lot this time of year! Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do to make sure your home is winter ready. Here are our top 5 tips for getting your home ready this winter!
1. Disconnect Hoses & Turn Off Outdoor Water
Hoses tend to retain water, so leaving them connected during the winter can cause water to freeze within the hose bibb and then cause the plumbing to burst when it is used again in the spring. Thankfully, it is easy to prevent this issue from happening!
Simply close the shut-off valve to the exterior hose bibbs and disconnect your garden hoses from the outside spigot. If you have a spray nozzle attached, you will want to disconnect that from the hose as well to allow any remaining water in the hose to drain completely. Then, keeping one end of the hose on the ground, begin to elevate and coil the hose up around itself so that all water drains from the hose. Store the coiled hose inside, if possible.
2. Clean Gutters & Downspouts
Here in Calgary, we love our chinooks, but with the fluctuations in temperature throughout the winter, it is important to properly prepare your home for melting and freezing snow. One of the biggest things you can do is to clean your gutters and keep your downspouts down. Clearing your gutters of any leaves and debris and directing downspouts away from your home will ensure that water can drain properly.
3. Change Furnace Filter
As the temperatures drop, most of us will be turning up the heat in our homes and using our furnaces a lot more than at other times of the year. It is important to set your furnace up for success by changing the furnace filter regularly. The filter collects all sorts of airborne particles, including dust and hair, preventing them from damaging your heating and cooling system. However, if the filter becomes too full of debris, it restricts the airflow to the furnace, which in turn can suffocate the furnace and cause significant damage as well. We recommend replacing the furnace filter every 3 months with a basic, economical filter for optimal efficiency.
When it comes to filters, winter is also a great time to clean your HRV and humidifier filters and change them if needed. We recommend cleaning these filters every 6 months and changing them every 12 months for optimal efficiency.
4. Regulate Indoor Humidity
Here in Alberta, our climate is very dry, so most people tend to turn up the humidity in their homes in the winter. But when the air is too humid in your home, it can result in stained ceilings and walls, excess attic frost, frost on windows and doors, and damaged hardwood floors, doors, and cabinets. That’s why we recommend keeping the humidity level between 30% to 40% in the winter.
To properly manage the humidity in your home during the winter, ensure you utilize your HRV system and bath fans. Run the bath fan when you take a shower or bath and leave it on for at least 20 minutes afterward to allow all the moist air to exit your home. Keep blinds raised during extremely cold temperatures to promote sufficient airflow to your windows and doors. Lastly, wipe up any condensation or moisture to prevent damage to your interior finishes.
5. Equip Home with Cozy Essentials
Winter is long, but one thing that will help is making sure your home is equipped with all the cozy essentials. We recommend throw blankets, warm beverages, a good book, and a comfy chair next to a blazing fireplace.
Braemyn Homes is Calgary’s preferred custom home builder. Our clients can expect the highest standard of excellence delivered with exceptional craftsmanship and superb customer care. Call us at (403) 606-2923 or fill out our contact form to see how we can help you make your dream home happen.