Avoid These Common Winterizing Myths

Fall is officially here, which means winterizing your home isn’t that far off–if you live at higher elevations, perhaps you’ve started the process already. As you begin preparing your home for winter, be sure to avoid these several common winterizing myths we’ve listed below, to keep your home truly warm and toasty, and to avoid costly repairs. Need help winterizing? We at The Appliance Doctor offer winterizing services for HVAC systems, so give us a call at 970.623.0152. For all other appliance repairs, contact us at 970.773.1000.

Home Winterizing Myths: Busted!

Myth #1: “Keep the heat turned off when not at home.”

Turning off the heat when you’re not at home seems an obvious choice, to save on time and money. However, turning off the heat places your home at risk of frozen and burst pipes. No matter how long you’re out of the home, set your thermostat to 55 F or higher. Some thermostats have a “permanent/ vacation” setting to hold the desired temperature.

Myth #2: “It’s ok to thaw a frozen pipe with a match, lighter, or blowtorch.”

Never use an open flame on a frozen pipe, as this can not only cause more damage to the pipe but is a huge safety risk as well. Instead, use an everyday hair dryer for thawing freezing pipes. Hairdryers allow you to thaw the pipe from all angles.

Myth #3: “The more insulation, the better.”

Attic insulation is a cost-effective way of preserving heat in your home. Therefore, some homeowners go overboard stuffing plenty of insulation in the attic. However, insulation requires air space around it to work properly. Compacted insulation will defeat the purpose of conserving heat, and can even lead to mold growth.

Myth #4: “Window films prevent a lot of heat loss.”

Window film is great at sealing up air leaks, but they don’t work well for preventing heat loss. A more effective solution is using heavy curtains during wintertime.

Myth #5: “It’s normal to have lots of icicles hanging from the roof.”

An icicle or two is normal, but plenty of icicles indicate that your home is losing excessive heat through the roof. The solution? You may need to add extra insulation in the attic.

Myth #6: “Drain pipes can’t freeze.”

A common misconception is that drain pipes can’t freeze during winter because they only have water running through them when someone is using a faucet. However, a small amount of water is present in the p-trap, or u-shaped bend in the pipe. The water in the p-trap prevents nasty sewage gases from infiltrating a home. If the p-trap is not insulated, it is possible the water present will freeze. Fortunately, most p-traps are under cabinets at room temperature, or under slab.

Myth #7: “Don’t make your home too airtight; homes need to ‘breathe.'”

While it’s true that homes need fresh air, most residences have more air leaks than thought. While windows and doors are common air leaks, crawl spaces and basements have air leaks too. You don’t want your home so airtight that airflow is compromised. Homes don’t need to breathe; people do.

Need HVAC Winterization? Call Us

Our HVAC services go beyond repairs and installation–we also provide HVAC maintenance, which includes HVAC winterization. If you’re unsure how to properly prep your HVAC system for winter, contact us at 970.623.0152.