Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour this Saturday night! We gain an hour Sunday, yeah!
Oh, the signs of fall….cooler temperatures, shorter days, and beautiful leaves! Right behind fall is Old Man Winter! Are you ready? Or better question is your house ready for winter? Having an annual home maintenance inspection can help ensure that there is not deferred maintenance that causes problems for you down the road. Give us a call and we can do a thorough inspection on your home to give you a comprehensive list of items that need to be address in order to keep your home safe and in tiptop shape. The following tips borrowed from Signature Title will help you save money and protect your home during the upcoming winter months.
Those beautiful leaves we mentioned earlier are pretty to look at but can cause problems if they are clogging your gutters and downspouts. Take time to clean out your gutters and downspouts to make sure that all water and snow this winter will be properly diverted away from your house.
Add insulation in your attic – Do you have enough insulation in your attic? The US Department of Energy has some helpful recommendations on insulation levels at their website. They even have a calculator that will tell you based on your zip code how much you should have in your home. When adding new insulation atop old insulation, don’t use the kind with paper backing. It forms a vapor barrier that can cause moisture problems in the existing insulation.
Maintain your ducts – You can lose up to 60% of your heat through ducts. If you’ve had your system for awhile, consider hiring a professional heating and cooling contractor to locate and seal areas where you may be losing warm air. If you’re in an especially cold climate and your ducts pass through unheated spaces like a basement, insulate them.
Reverse your fans – If your ceiling fans have reverse settings, run them in cold months; they’ll push warm air downward, circulating it throughout the room.
Block drafts – Cold air coming from beneath doors can waste up to 30% of your energy bill. Stuff a necktie or a scrap of fabric sewn into the shape of a tube with sand (or just roll up a towel) and lay it at the base of the door.
Lower the thermostat – For every degree you lower your thermostat, you can save up to 3% on your monthly heating bill.
Replace filters – Clogged air filters restrict airflow and add to your energy bill. Replace them once a month during the winter. Better yet, with reports suggesting that disposable filters trap as little as 10-40% of debris, consider replacing yours with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters can remove up to 99.97% of airborne particles.
Buy an energy monitor – There are two kinds of energy monitors. Smart Plugs plug into an individual outlet and calculate the amount of energy being used by a single appliance. Energy (or power) monitors for the whole house track energy usage at your breaker panel. You can find out in real time how much energy you’re using, how much it’s costing you, and how much you’ll save just by turning off an extra light or any appliances like laptops and televisions that have standby modes. Research has shown that people who use power monitors naturally become more aware of – and reduce – their usage. Shop your local home appliance store for an energy monitor and save on your overall power bill this winter.
And as we always say…. “Be Advised, Not Surprised!”