Winters in Salt Lake City are usually cold, but not too severe. According to Slcgov.com, the city’s official website, Salt Lake City averages a daily minimum temperature of around 20 degrees F in January, with the lowest recorded temperature of -30 degrees F. The snowfall ranges between 40 and 50 inches in the lower valleys and, occasionally, the snow cover is more than 12 inches deep. These are some of the main reasons why Salt Lake City residents winterize their homes to prepare for the winter.
Winterizing your home not only helps prepare against the harsh winters of Salt Lake City, but also lets you implement ways to make your home more energy-efficient.
Winterizing your home saves money and energy. According to the United States Department of Energy, heating and cooling costs account for 56 percent of a home’s energy use, making it your largest energy expense.
Most homes in Salt Lake City use either a furnace or a boiler; however, some homeowners heat their homes using other sources ranging from wood stoves to active solar heating systems.
Cleaning the gutters will help drain the winter’s rain and melting snow. Debris can clog drains, causing ice to form in dams. When this happens, the water will back up, freeze and seep into the house.
Plugging or blocking leaks from inside and outside your house will prevent the cold air from coming in and the warm air from escaping. Inspecting your storm door and windows will ensure that they are working properly during the winter so that snow, mud and water will not find their way inside your home. The furnace, electrical sockets and air ducts are some of the other things to check to ensure they are winter-ready.
Adding insulation, cleaning the chimneys and running the fan in reverse are other ways to winterize your home.
Take into considerations other factors when winterizing your home. For example, bracing water heaters tightly during its inspection not only prepares it for its winter duties, but also for future quakes. According to Bereadyutah.gov, “Utah has experienced damaging earthquakes in the past and geologic evidence indicates that earthquakes larger than any experienced locally in historical time are likely in the future.”
In addition, your garden, which is an outside part of your home, will need winterizing as well. Ensure your garden recovers from the stress of Salt Lake City’s hot, dry summer so it will hibernate well in the winter and be ready to grow again next spring.
Winterizing your irrigation system will prevent it from freezing. Shutting down all irrigation system will release pressure in the pipes and drain the water. Doing so will prevent damages to sprinkler lines, prevent flooding the yard areas and save money on costly repairs.
Salt Lake City residents can take advantage of government programs to help conserve energy as they prepare their homes for the winter. Salt Lake City Green, a government-funded program, has environmental programs that continue to help the community conserve resources, reduce pollution and slow climate change.
Salt Lake City Green has worked with electrical utility companies and the Public Service Commission to give incentives to residents through fair net metering payments for electricity produced to encourage residents in installing solar panels. This is good news to residents who are replacing their water heaters or furnace with active solar heating systems.