If we had a dollar every time Calgary’s weather changed abruptly, we’d all be pretty wealthy. Sadly, we can’t predict the future or the weather. But we can all rest a little easier knowing that one thing about our seasons is for sure: winter is cold. Very cold. And with the annual temperature drop comes the need to keep the freezing winds out and the heat in, especially in older homes and buildings.
While some of the points on this list won’t come as a surprise for native Albertans, we think that you can still benefit from these five ways to winterize your home in Calgary:
Seal the windows
The most permanent way to winterize your home is to install double-paned windows and make sure to regularly maintain the caulking around the edges. If you’re in an old building with single-paned windows, caulking won’t be enough to keep winter at bay. Pick up a plastic film kit to improve the insulation, and use a hair dryer to shrink and seal it.
Turn off outdoor water sources
If you have outdoor taps, make sure they’re off. Empty any hoses and pipes you won’t be using. If you have sprinklers, shut them off and make sure to drain the entire system to avoid bursts, holes and leaks.
Put your A/C in hibernation mode
Your air conditioner likely doesn’t have an actual ‘hibernation mode’, but you should get it ready for winter. Be sure to drain any water that collected inside the unit, empty and remove hoses if necessary, and turn the water valve off (if applicable). And it may sound like a no-brainer, but if you have a portable A/C set up in a window, don’t forget to remove it!
Block door drafts
You can lose a lot of heat around doors, especially if you’re in an older home. If you don’t have the budget to install a new door or frame, you can pick up a draft stopper (aka ‘door snake’) at your local hardware store. For an even more wallet-friendly option, go the DIY route and make your own with some fabric and sand or rice.
Protect your pipes
While you should let an expert tackle actual plumbing projects, you can still prevent your pipes from freezing by keeping your home warm all winter, letting a little water drip from the faucet, and sealing any gaps in the wall or floor where pipes might come into contact with frigid outside air. You can also insulate at-risk pipes in a basement or attic with a foam or fiberglass sleeve.
Ready or not, here comes winter!