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Ice Dam Prevention Tip – Turning the Heat Down

Ice dams can't form without heat

As cold and icy as ice dams are, they can’t form without heat.

You know the story of how ice dams form. It’s winter, it’s cold, and you crank up the heat, but your attic isn’t properly insulated, so the heat rises up through your roof. The snow on your roof melts and then refreezes, forming ice dams.

If you’d like to turn over every possible stone in an effort to prevent ice dams, you may want to consider turning your heat down. It may help prevent ice dams from forming. Less heat coming up through your attic means less melting snow on your roof. Less melting means that the snow on your roof largely remains snow and is less likely to become ice.

I’m not saying shut off the heat. If your home has a history of ice dams, turning the heat down to the 60s could help minimize the formation of ice dams. If you can go even lower, so much the better. Of course, if there’s no snow on your roof and you don’t see any snow in the forecast, there’s no probably harm in cranking up the heat to your heart’s content.

The other benefit of turning the heat down is you save money. It’s an economic way to help deter ice dams.

As you can probably guess, turning down the heat won’t singlehandedly prevent ice dams from forming. It helps mitigate one of the factors that cause ice dams—a hot roof caused by a hot attic—but it’s still important that you keep your roof as snow-free as possible. Consider the heat dial one of several tools in your ice-dam-prevention toolbox.

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Written by on December 20, 2011

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