The new year is here, and it has sure made a statement with the extremely cold weather we have been seeing across Alberta. Calgary is experiencing a major cold snap right now and while your only thought may be on keeping yourself warm, it is important that you are taking the necessary steps to ensure your house is running efficiently as well. Check out our cold weather home maintenance tips below.
When cold weather hits, we strongly encourage you to adjust the relative humidity setting in your home to prevent hoar frost from forming in your attic. See the table below for a general estimate on what the recommended interior relative temperature should be in relation to the frigid temperatures we are experiencing. It is also recommended that you open your blinds at least a few inches every day to allow for air circulation and to prevent condensation and ice buildup.
FURNACE & CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
Stay ahead of the game and change your furnace filters regularly to ensure that you avoid it failing the coldest night of the year. Ideally, these should be changed every 3 months to ensure maximum functionality and avoid any issues. Check the outside furnace and hot water venting for icicle build up, and gently knock any accumulated ice away.
As it comes time to crank up the heat in your home, it is important to ensure that your carbon monoxide detector has new batteries and is tested to be working properly in case anything goes wrong with your furnace. Carbon monoxide has no color, taste or smell and can be impossible to detect, so it becomes essential to have a properly working detector. If you think your home has a leak, leave the house immediately and call the fire departments non-emergency line (311).
EAVESTROUGHS AND DOWNSPOUTS
All eavestroughs and downspouts should have been properly cleaned out prior to the first snowfall to remove all leaves and debris, but the work doesn’t stop there. Make sure that your downspouts are always pointed downward and away from your house to avoid having run-off pool up along your house. It is also important that you keep an eye on your eavestrough to ensure that ice doesn’t build up and cause run-off to redirect under your shingles and behind flashings.
The City of Calgary has a great guide of things to consider when preparing for cold weather and winter storms, click here to learn more.