Important Steps For Maintaining a Home In A Cold Climate

Posted by Dan Wolf on Monday, November 11th, 2013 at 7:58am.

Living in Anchorage has it's own unique set of challenges when it comes to maintaining a home in a cold weather climate.  When winter closes in, our residents often follow a comprehensive checklist as they prepare their homes for those long winter nights.

Many of the preparations are the same, or similar, to those performed on homes in the lower 48 where snow and ice are part of the landscape in winter.  The only difference is how you might be dealing with longer periods of time in a deep freeze here in Alaska.

This list can give you a fairly good idea of what you will be tackling as you prepare your home for the warm and cozy nights under the northern lights.

Cabin in winter forest


Anyone who has dealt with temperatures that drop below freezing is familiar with letting faucets drip or wrapping exposed pipes.  Here in Alaska, we take those protective measures a few steps further and really "winterize" all of our plumbing.  You will want to:

  • Cover outdoor faucets
  • Drain and store hoses
  • Drain sprinkler systems
  • Drain or wrap all pipes that are exposed
  • Drain and perform maintenance on swimming pools

Prepare An Emergency Kit

Storms are part of life in a cold weather climate and many times they can be prolonged.  It is even more important that you have a kit that can provide you with at least a few days of necessary items.  Your kit should contain:

  • Battery or solar powered radio and lighting
  • An emergency generator that can power appliances
  • Rock salt for melting ice
  • Sand to aid in freeing a stuck car or covering walkways
  • Snow removal equipment
  • Firewood for stoves and fireplaces

Check Your Heating Systems

Winter is the season when we see more house fires, primarily due to increased use of furnaces and stoves.  A yearly maintenance performed on your furnace is very important and having your cook stove cleaned and checked is a good idea as well.  That maintenance will also help ensure that your heating, cooking and electrical systems are operating at peak performance which will save you money in energy costs.  Check these items as well:

  • Make sure you have a working Carbon Monoxide Detector as well as a back up in case of a failure.
  • Make sure you have your chimney or flue check yearly and cleaned if necessary.

That comprehensive checklist might also include:

  • Applying new caulking or weather stripping if needed
  • Installing heating cables to avoid ice dams
  • Trimming back tree branches from around home 
  • Clearing debris from all walkways

No doubt you will also have a checklist, perhaps for every season as each has it's own unique preparations.  It won't be long though and your winterizing will become second nature.

For more information and tips for living in Anchorage, Alaska, please contact us here at Wolf Real Estate Professionals.  We would love to introduce you to everything wonderful about living in and around Anchorage!

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