Nov 16, 2022


Warm Up to Winter

Warm bellies, warm hearts! Learn how to stay warm and cozy all winter long with these cold weather tips from Rümi.

Spoiler alert: Alberta’s winters are no joke. And no matter how many prairie winters you’ve made it through, the frigid temperatures are always a shock to the system, for you and for your home.  Here are a few ways to make the season feel warmer when and where you can — without long johns or a snowsuit!

Turn up the heat

You can know winter is coming, but when that first cold snap hits, it can still change the atmosphere of your home. Your home may have cold spots and areas of poor air circulation. If you’re turning up your thermostat and experiencing uneven heat, consider a space heater to target specific areas, without overheating others.

Whatever you do, don’t crank the heat. It won’t warm your home any faster. It’ll just eventually get hotter than you want it to be. Not every space in your home needs to be the same temperature. Using a smart thermostat to manage your home’s various climates could also be the right solution for you – keeps the main use areas toasty while leaving spare rooms, basements, and storage spaces less blasted.  

Don’t forget the commute

Alberta winters can be especially hard on our vehicles. Luckily, you can plug in and stay prepared with a block heater. They eliminate the headaches and safety hazards that come with standard cords and old school heaters. The best part? You can turn them on and off from your mobile device using an app. So, if you have a long ride to the rink on a brisk Saturday morning, you can set the timer via the app instead of leaving it using power all night.

If you want to take it up a notch in your garage, consider enlisting Rümi to install a permanent heater. We know it’ll be worth it during the winter months, which sometimes feel like the majority of the year.

Avoiding frozen pipesicles

Freezing and bursting pipes are a common and expensive problem for many Albertans. During a cold snap, ruptured pipes are a one of the most frequent forms of property damage. As a general rule, the magic temperature or threshold for freezing pipes is around -6°C (a temperature easily and frequently seen during our prairie winters). And, there’s more bad news… resulting water damage from a ruptured pipe can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent ice blockages and freezing pipes as well as protect your water systems.

Before winter:

Insulate pipes: Pipe insulation is inexpensive and easy to install. Pick some up at your local hardware store. When insulating your water system, pay particular attention to pipes in unheated, interior spaces of your home, such as in your attic, garage, or basement.

Seal cracks and openings: Inspect your home for any holes, cracks or openings before winter to stop drafts from freezing your water systems.

Use heating tape: For piping systems that are easily accessible, apply electrical heating tape directly to the pipe to help it retain heat. This can be especially helpful for pipes in unheated or exterior locations, like cold attics or basements.

Seal crawl spaces: Temporarily cover any ventilated crawl spaces in your home. This can reduce the amount of cold air surrounding your pipes. Simply use foam pieces cut to the dimension of the vents and secure them in place with duct tape.

During winter:

Keep garage doors closed: If your water supply lines go through the garage be sure to keep your garage properly sealed and doors closed. Often, garages feature high amounts of smooth concrete, which keep the space cold enough as it is.  

Open cabinets: You can keep warm air circulating your plumbing by opening your cabinet and cupboard doors. Heated air will help prevent ice blockages and pressure buildups in the pipes.

Let faucets drip: Keep your pipes from freezing by leaving the faucet running ever so slightly. Even this minimal water movement will help prevent ice blockages from forming in your plumbing. This tactic is mostly beneficial for taps with exposed piping.

Keep the thermostat consistent: During a bitter cold snap, keep your thermostat set to the same temperature during the day and the night. The slightly higher heating bill is significantly cheaper than repairing a burst pipe.

Leave the heat on: If you plan on leaving your home during the winter, make sure you leave your heat on while you’re away. Have someone you trust check your home regularly (let them know all the tricky spots!), not only for peace of mind, but also for insurance protection.

Open interior doors: To keep heat evenly and consistently spread around your home, keep interior doors open. This promotes air circulation to move warm air from room to room and is helpful during cold snaps.

Warmth from the inside out

Warm bellies, warm hearts! Our favourite way to warm up in the wintertime is with some delicious recipes from the Blue Flame Kitchen. There’s nothing like a hot cup of three onion soup to bring up your body temperature.  After a frigid outdoor dog walk, curb your sweet tooth with some sips of hot butterscotch apple cider, or dive into a scoop of steamy casserole. Blue Flame Kitchen’s fall and Christmas menus are sure to keep your household well fed throughout the winter season.  

Stay inside

Rümi to the rescue. When it drops below -15°C (or whatever your frigid threshold may be) and the snow starts to fall, we’ll still be around to help you with your winter services. Stay inside where it’s warm and let us bundle up and shovel for you! Many would agree that one of the most exhausting parts of winter is snow maintenance. No matter when the snow falls, as long as it is 0.5 cm or more, we’ll be there to clear it. Driveways, walkways, stairs and entrances, we clear it all — we even sprinkle eco-friendly ice melt (safe for puppy paws) to keep those slippery patches at bay.

Winter should mean epic ski runs, steaming hot chocolate, and game nights with family – not burst pipes or drafty windows. Make plans for the tricky stuff and take some chores off your plate by building a maintenance list and enlisting Rümi to give you a hand. With a little planning now, you’ll set yourself up to truly savour the season.