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How Can I Prevent Ice Dams from Forming?

When the weather gets cold, turning up the thermostat is a natural reaction. Your HVAC system helps keep the interior of your Cincinnati home comfortable in any weather. With the interior temperature spiking upwards and the temperature outside dropping, any precipitation could spell bad news in the form of ice dams.

What Are Ice Dams?

When your roof is covered with snow and the roof warms up under the snow, it can cause a layer of ice to form as the snow melts and refreezes. You get a wall of ice around the edge of your roof, preventing melt-off from reaching the gutters.

National Heating & Air Conditioning can help you keep your Cincinnati home safe from ice dams. Keep an eye out for conditions that could lead to ice dam formation, including:

  • An uninsulated attic that collects heat.
  • Snow or sleet that builds up on the roof.
  • Icicles forming around the edge of the roof.
  • Warmer temperatures during the day followed by freezing temperatures after dark.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

Keep Your Roof Cold

The quickest and easiest way to avoid the issue of an ice dam is by not heating up your roof. Have National come out and take a look at your heating system. There shouldn’t be any vents or ductwork running through the attic. If there are, you could be venting heat directly onto your roof. You’ll also want to check any pipes or holes in that run into or near the attic. Re-sealing these with a new layer of caulk can help prevent heat leakage from other areas of your home. It’s best to reroute heating away from the roof or take steps to completely condition your attic.

Insulate Your Attic

A conditioned attic is within the thermal envelope of your home. If you have any ductwork in the attic, this may be the best solution for you. An unconditioned attic with ductwork can cost a lot in incidental heating and air conditioning costs. During the summer, you may lose cooled air through duct seams and pick up hot air. In the winter, the opposite is true. To address this problem, you must insulate the attic from the outside, making it a part of the interior of your home. National offers attic insulation services for just this type of problem.

Get Rid of Ice Dams in Cincinnati, Ohio

There is no such thing as a perfect solution for ices dams, but you can reduce the risks and slow their formation. Be sure to have an HVAC professional take a look at your entire system when you have them turn on your furnace in the fall. A quick check can help identify any air leaks and potential problems, before the first winter storms. Get in touch with the team at National Heating & Air Conditioning today by filling out a contact form.

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