Frigid temperatures tend to bring forth a struggle for home owners to stay warm this Winter season.
Myrna McArthur has lived in her Hart mobile home for more than a decade and says surviving the bitter cold is a struggle year after year. “People are trying to survive. Insulation is vital to these places,” she said.
McArthur’s trailer, like many others, uses skirting insulation wrapped around the home. Fire Prevention Officer with the Prince George Fire Department, Marcel Profeit, says skirting is a safe way to insulate, just so long as no ignition sources are added to the equation. “No space heaters, no torches for if you freeze your pipes or whatever, you don’t want to crawl under your trailer with a blow torch.”
For McArthur, her main concern is safety and having the proper knowledge of how to keep her home warm. “All of us seniors here, we have to go and we have to find all of this stuff and if you don’t know about it, then you have to find someone that’s honest and that can be a tough one,” she said. “For me, it’s all about trying to insulate underneath your trailer because what’s the first thing that’s going to go in this type of weather, it’s your piping.”
Frozen pipes are a common culprit of cold weather. Owner of Fraser Plumbing & Heating, Dan Veller, says running a small flow of water from your taps is one way to keep pipes from freezing, although there’s more efficient options. “If you have a crawl space home, you should make sure that your pipes are heat taped and then insulated and that the heat tapes are plugged in to protect your pipes from freezing, otherwise they definitely will freeze.”
Veller mentioned that most homes rely heavily on electrical or gas furnaces, but something as simple as a fire place can be more cost effective than turning the furnace up high. It’s a concept he calls ‘zone heating.’ “So then you can keep your basement at whatever temperature you choose and let the upstairs cool down a little bit and then you can also allow the heat from the basement to come upstairs and warm the upstairs so you’re kind of recycling or re-using your own heat.”
Profeit added that whenever you are using a fire place, you should clean it, along with the chimney to prevent a chimney fire. “The mason work might start to chip or get cracks and then all that heat from the fire in the chimney goes through into your attic space and that’s what creates the big problem for sure.”
Taking the time to clean up and do proper maintenance of furnaces and hot water heaters could also save you big bucks says Veller. “You know, maybe three or four hundred dollars, all the way up to five or six thousand dollars so all of a sudden a little bit of maintenance to stop that from happening is a huge deal.”
Just a few tips for a safe and Warm winter.