How to Winterize Anchorage Homes

    Anchorage is located on Cook Inlet in southern Alaska. It is a beautiful city surrounded by natural landscapes featuring the Chugach Mountains, Pacific Ocean,  water teaming with sea life, extraordinary glaciers, open wilderness areas and natural wonders such as the Northern Lights. However beautiful Alaska may be though, the winter temperatures can present issues if homes are not properly winterized. Winters bring the snow with temperatures dipping into the 20’s, but because warm Japanese currents follow the Pacific Ocean, Anchorage’s winters remain somewhat mild compared to the rest of Alaska. Despite this homes still need to be winterized in order to avoid problems during temperatures in which home repair is not ideal.

    Winterize Alaskan Homes
    Photo by Katie via Flickr

    Insulate Chimneys and Intake Systems

    Anchorage homes with a combustion exhaust or an air-intake system can experience malfunctions in colder weather. If a home has a chimney or flues, exhaust gases from heating devices can become blocked due to frozen condensation. Clean chimneys with specialized brushes or install rain caps on the chimneys, which frost can settle on rather than condense inside its exhaust tunnels. If your Anchorage heater malfunctions on those cold nights and causes a blockage use an electric hair dryer or pour hot water over the outside intake pipes. The better method is to purchase electric heat tape or wraps for the pipes, which are very effective.

    Insulate Propane Tanks

    The Anchorage cold can effect propane systems, by changing its chemical properties into a dangerous gas. Propane tanks and propane lines should be insulated so they do not freeze. Simple tips to keep program systems protected include piling loose snow around the tank which is an excellent source of insulation. An explosion proof light installed near the propane tank, if the tank is within a shelter, can prevent the propane from freezing. Heat stripping, specifically designed for propane tanks, is also a very good insulation product.

    Block Window Drafts

    Remove window screens and replace them with storm windows, which successfully blocks drafts and keeps the home warmer and fuel costs lower. If the home has single pane windows, a simple solution, however unattractive it might be, is to purchase a window insulation kit that is attached to the interior of a window with tape and a hair dryer.

    Reverse Ceiling Fans

    The counterclockwise rotation of a fan’s blades circulates the air near the ceiling back into the room, which warms the air and helps in keeping heating costs by as much as 10 percent lower.

    Seal Hidden Drafts

    Seal areas of your Anchorage home where windows, walls and foundations meet because this is where small amounts of air may leak through. By using a lighted candle, homeowner’s can find these little draft cracks. Use a caulking gun or weather stripping products to seal these cracks.

    Keep Water On Hand

    If proper precautions have not been taken to protect underground water pipes and outdoor water faucets then drinking, cooking and washing water is not available until hours later when the soil and air warms the pipes. To avoid this inconvenience keep empty gallon jugs around the house and fill them with water so when the need arises, the family won’t be too terribly inconvenienced.
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