Last Updated on September 17, 2021
How To Weatherproof Your Home In Edmonton
It’s no secret – Edmonton’s weather is unpredictable at best. With more than a 75°C difference between our hottest and coldest temperatures, our homes need to be outfitted to withstand more than most. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to weatherproof your home.
5+ Ways To Weatherproof Your Home
A weatherproof home should have the following:
- Properly insulated doors, windows, and electrical outlets
- A damage-free roof
- Clean furnace filters
- Well-functioning Furnace and Air Conditioning systems
- Strong sealant and caulking against leaks
1. Properly Insulate Doors, Window, & Electrical Outlets
We often stress the importance of airtightness for a home that performs well. A home that is airtight will be less expensive to heat and cool, be easier to regulate, and have a smaller environmental footprint.
Air leaks most commonly come from electrical outlets, windows, and door seams. Finding these leaks can be tricky, but on cold days you may be able to feel cool air coming through these seams. Alternatively, a Blower Door Test, which depressurizes your home to locate the sources of air leaks, can help you find and repair any uninsulated areas.
Once you have located these leaks, they should be reinsulated or sealed properly.
2. Check Your Roofing Is Up To Code
Your roof will experience the elements fully, so it’s bound to have some wear and tear over time.
The most common types of roofing in Edmonton usually last between 15-35 years depending on shingle type, slope, sun exposure, and climate. Generally, more steeply sloped roofs fare better against snow and rain than flat roofs, and shingles that face the sun when it is the hottest wear down faster than those that are shaded.
If you are not sure if your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, look for these signs:
- Mold or mildew inside your home
- Water stains or damage in the attic
- Leaky spots during heavy rain
- Fallen or misplaced shingles
- Shingles that are curling, peeling, or bald
Because of Edmonton’s often extreme weather, it is also a good idea to inspect your roof after severe storms. Hail in particular can wreak havoc on a roof. Shingles can be damaged or even punctured by falling hail, leaving your home vulnerable. When in doubt, find a friend with a drone who can help you look for damage after a storm.
What Is Hail Proof Roofing?
Hail proof roofing options include materials such as rubber, metal, or tile shingles which are able to withstand more severe weather. These cost more than your standard laminate, asphalt, or wood shingles, but generally have a longer warranty and will have to be repaired less frequently.
3. Check & Replace Your Filters
A clogged furnace filter means that your furnace has to work extra hard to heat and cool your home. This can lead to higher power bills in the summer and winter, damage to your HVAC system, and uncomfortable indoor humidity levels. Unregulated indoor air humidity can be problematic in the winter, as it may cause freezing on the insides of doors and windows.
If you have pets in your home, children with asthma or allergies, or use your heating/cooling system very frequently, you may have to replace your filter more frequently. Be sure to check on your filters periodically by holding them up to a light source. If you can’t see the light through the filter, it is probably time for a change.
Generally, filters should be changed seasonally in Alberta – 3-4 times/year. You may find that your filter lasts longer during the winter, however, due to a lack of dust.
Watch our tutorial on changing a furnace filter here!
4. Maintain & Replace Your Furnace And/Or Air Conditioner
Your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system doesn’t last forever. If you want to have strong “lungs” in your home, you should aim to replace both your air conditioner and furnace at the same time, every 15 years or so.
Generally, your furnace will “outlive” your air conditioner and may not strictly need replacing at the same time. A typical furnace might last between 15-35 years, and an A/C unit might only last 15-20.
Timing the replacements of both systems can be tricky, as they work best when they are in sync. Replacing them at the same time will net you the best possible performance from your HVAC system, so it is a widely recommended practice.
This being said, if your furnace system is relatively new when your A/C system expires, it might be best to do the A/C repair on its own.
Good news! Proper maintenance can extend the life of your HVAC system and save you money! Check out this blog for a maintenance schedule to keep your system running smoothly year-round!
5. Check For Leaks & Replace Caulking
It is important to watch for leaks inside and outside of your house during the warmer months when repairs are easiest. If you suspect you may have a leak, waterproof caulking can do wonders on the exterior of your home to keep things dry and airtight inside.
Waterproof caulking is perfect for areas with lots of water contact, joints between two types of materials, and places where there may be gaps that water or air could seep in. A good caulking material should be flexible enough to allow your home to expand and contract with temperature changes without breaking the seal.