With the winter nearly upon us, it’s time to think about how you can protect your Edmonton home over the upcoming months. As the temperatures start to drop, you need to put measures in place for winter home maintenance in Edmonton to avoid potential damage to your property. Today we’re going to share our top tips to keep your home safe and free from long-term damage this winter.
How to Avoid Condensation and Humidity
One of the biggest challenges in the winter months in cold-weather climates is battling condensation and humidity. While Alberta is known for its very dry winters, condensation can still build up inside your home.
Check your windows and glass surfaces for condensation, and if you notice that there’s a build-up in moisture, then we recommend using a dehumidifier. If you notice the air is too dry and sealant is cracking, you can use a humidifier or turn your furnace humidifier on if you have it. When you work to balance out these humidity levels, you’ll also maintain the window sealant, floors and walls for many years to come. These can be very expensive parts of your home to fix or replace, so taking action as soon as you notice condensation is your best option.
In Alberta it is recommended to keep your humidity between 30-35% in the winter months. Preventing air flow to windows by closing blinds is a sure way to cause condensation problems. We recommend keeping the blinds and curtains open as much as possible. We also recommend using a continuous fan option if available on your furnace. Keeping the air circulating in your home has great benefits such as cleaner air, eliminates hot and cold rooms, and controls window condensation problems.
Replace Your Furnace Filter
A furnace filter is designed to improve air quality within your home. It works by removing and preventing dust from being recirculated through your ducts or fans. When the furnace filter is dirty or clogged up with dust and hair, it can decrease the quality of your air and cause damage to your furnace and your family’s health. We recommend replacing this filter regularly throughout the winter. Every two to three months put a new one in place to avoid issues with your air flow.
Upgrade Your Weatherstripping or Caulking
In order to protect your home and family from the cold weather in the winter, make sure you do a full check of your home’s doors and windows. Try to do this ahead of the coldest weather, so that you can replace and upgrade your caulking and weatherstripping if you find any areas with wear and tear. One of the clearest indicators of issues in this area is a draft or an air leak. While this often indicates poor weatherstripping, you might also find you need to make adjustments to your fixtures to keep cold air outside of your home.
Ice Dams on Your Roof
With the freezing temperatures at night in the winter, one of the top areas of your home to consider when it comes to winter home maintenance in Edmonton is preventing ice dams on your roof. These often occur in this part of the country due to the freeze-thaw cycle that occurs in spring, and sometimes throughout the winter if it becomes unseasonably warm. When ice dams form, they can take two or three weeks to thaw out, which can cause long-term damage to your roof.
In order to avoid this concern, make sure you clear snow from your roof and focus on areas such as the attic, eaves and bathroom vents to avoid any build-up. The biggest cause of ice dams in Alberta is due to poor air circulation in the attic and or lack of proper insulation, and sometimes both. It is important that the attic air temperature is similar the air temperature outside.
Check Your Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
While this is an important part of your winter home maintenance in Edmonton, checking your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors is something that should be part of your home maintenance routine all year round. We recommend doing this once a month if you can, using the test button on the detectors and replacing the batteries as needed. This will give you and your loved ones peace of mind each day in your home and make sure you can sleep soundly at night.
Keep in mind that carbon monoxide detectors do need to be replaced occasionally as well, so double check the expiry date on your detectors this winter too. It is recommended to replace them every 10 years. If checking these devices every month is too much of a challenge. Try to remember that when daylight savings time change takes effect it is time to change the batteries in your Smoke/co2 detectors (twice a year).
We recommend you take the time to carry out all these tasks we’ve shared above ahead of the winter months. The sooner you can protect your home, the more time and money you’ll save in the long run, while also keeping your family and pets healthy and safe all year round. If you have any questions or are looking to upgrade your home, always reach out to a professional to avoid trying to resolve issues alone and potentially causing more damage to your property.
Are you looking for more ideas about how to protect your home over the upcoming winter months? Our team is here to support you with your winter home maintenance in Edmonton. Download our free home maintenance guide or contact us today for more information about keeping your home safe and sound this winter.