As the old saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine. While not written about home maintenance, the same general principal holds true. A little preventive maintenance this fall can save homeowners a lot of heartache come winter. But where do you start? What do you do?
Essential Tasks to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Seal Gaps around Windows and Doors
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), windows account for 25-40% of your annual heating and cooling costs. And drafts are a large reason why. Simply sealing gaps around your windows can help cut your winter heating bills by up to 15%. Ca-ching! So what are you waiting for?
Don’t forget to check for gaps around your doors as well.
Show Those Gutters Some Love
When was the last time you cleaned your gutters? Clogged gutters can lead to water damaged attics. With nowhere to go, water will begin to backup under your shingles and into your attic, eventually working its way through the ceiling and into the rooms bellow. Yikes!
Seal Driveway Cracks
Come winter, small cracks in your driveway can quickly become large problems. When water penetrates deep into those cracks and freezes, it expands. This will widen those cracks over and over throughout the winter.
Remember, a stitch in time saves nine. Well, crack sealing in time can save you from re-paving your entire driveway!
Ceiling Fan Rotation
Here is a quick task you can complete in a matter of minutes. By simply changing the rotation of your ceiling fans, you can help improve the energy efficiency of your home. Remember, heat rises. Your ceiling fans can help redistribute that heat back throughout your room, supplementing your HVAC equipment. Your wallet will thank you when you receive that first (lower) winter heating bill!
A Little Insulation Goes a Long Way
In the winter, your insulation helps keep cold air out and warm air in, allowing your furnace to work as efficiently as possible. So it is important to make sure you have the right amount of insulation. Head to your attic and look across your floor joists. If you can’t easily see your joists, you have enough attic insulation. If your insulation is below the joists, you probably need more. It’s that simple.
Your HVAC system should be inspected and serviced twice annually: spring and fall. Fall maintenance can help not only improve the efficiency of your HVAC equipment, but also prevent costly breakdowns, which could literally leave you out in the cold.
Fresh Air Concepts offers HVAC maintenance and installation services throughout the Baltimore area. We also offer several maintenance contracts geared towards extending the life of your HVAC equipment through meticulous inspections and annual maintenance.