Cold weather tips for your house

We’ve had some extremely cold weather lately.  Today is the first day above 0 in Anchorage in over a week!  Here are a few good cold weather tips for your house:

1)  To keep frost off your windows, add 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol to a quart of water.  Use a sponge to rub this mixture on the inside of your windows.  Polish with paper towels or newspaper.

2)  Run a humidifier when it’s really cold out to keep you and your home happy.  We have 3 humidifiers running in our house to keep the humidity around 45% in the winter.

3)  If you are running a humidifier you will probably get condensation built up on the inside of your windows.  Even if you aren’t, moisture from breathing, cooking, and bathing will end up on your windows.

Make sure to keep this wiped off regularly, as sitting water will damage wood window frames.  I’ve seen a lot of mold and mildew on window frames, and prevention is the best option.

If you have already developed rot, mold, or mildew, or staining, you’ll need to sand and re-stain your window sills.  If it’s too far gone, you’ll need to replace the wood.

4)  Many houses now have programmable thermostats.  Make sure you replace the batteries regularly.  If you haven’t replaced them in the last year or two, it’s a good idea to change them soon.  If the batteries go out, depending on the type of thermostat, you may come home to a REALLY cold house!  When it’s -15 degrees outside, it doesn’t take long for a house to cool off.

5)  Make sure to change furnace filters every month (two at the most) during the winter to keep your furnace running efficiently.  You’ll also want to get your furnace or boiler cleaned and serviced yearly.  I recommend this in the fall, but it’s never too late for your annual check up!

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