15 Fall & Winter Home Maintenance & Energy Saving Tips
Autumn is the time to get your home ready for cooler weather. With energy prices skyrocketing, these tips will help decrease your home’s energy consumption, lower utility bills and better protect your investment in your home. Why not save energy and put more money in your pocket as the temperature cools down this fall?
Have a programmable thermostat installed. This convenient device allows you to increase energy savings, improve home comfort, and lower energy costs. There are many models available, including technologically advanced models that allow you to control the temperature of your home remotely. Be sure to talk to an professional heating company like Redding’s about what would work best for your heating system and family.
Set your thermostat no higher than 68 degrees during the day if you’re home and even lower while you are sleeping. You can decrease your energy bills by as much as 10 percent a year by turning your thermostat back 10-15 percent for about eight hours a day.
Your heating system is like a car, it performs better with regular maintenance. A thorough inspection and tune-up of your furnace or boiler ensure your system is performing its best and can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. Best conducted at the beginning of the heating season, this service also ensures your equipment is in good working condition and there aren’t any safety issues, such as carbon monoxide leaks. For more information click here.
Caulk and weather-strip all windows and doors. Also make sure the locks on windows are tight and draft resistant. If not, have them replaced.
Lots of icicles during the winter hanging off your roof or worse yet, ice dams, can potentially cause water to back up into your home. A home energy audit performed by a BPI certified contractor like Redding’s can easily locate air leaks that can cause this issue in your home.
Have a professional analyze the amount of insulation in your attic, basement and outside walls. Also cover through-the-wall air conditioners to prevent cold air from leaking into your home.
Have a professional seal the areas of your home that leak air. This can cut 10 percent from an average homeowner’s monthly energy bill. Air escapes most often from: fireplaces, eaves, ridge vents, electrical outlets, light fixtures, floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, plumbing penetrations, doors, windows, fans and vents.
Keep shades and curtains open during the day on the south side of your home to allow solar heating. Close them at night to retain heat.
Don’t block your radiators, heating vents and baseboard heaters with furniture or draperies. Keep them dirt and dust free. Close vents and doors in unused rooms.
Before you enjoy the first fire of the season, be sure the chimney and vents are in good repair. Have a professional inspect and clean the chimney to prevent fire and carbon monoxide from leaking back into your home. Also, close the fireplace damper when not in use; otherwise, conditioned air will escape through the chimney. Make sure the fire has completely cooled first.
Many water heaters come preset to 140 degrees. Reduce water heating costs by turning your water heater down to 120 degrees. For each 10 degree reduction you can reduce your energy consumption by 3-5%. Plus, if you have children in the house, this is also a safety measure.
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, switch it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction during the heating season. This will produce and updraft and push heated air down into the room from the ceiling since hot air rises. This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings.
Fall brings stormy weather. Don’t get caught with a broken sump pump when you can easily make this part of your fall home maintenance routine. Test it by slowly pouring a few gallons of water into the sump pit to make sure it turns on. This should be done every few months, but especially after a long dry season or before a rainy one. In addition, we recommend having a battery backup sump pump installed by a professional plumber like Redding’s. This protects your home during a power outage, as most home damage occurs from flooding.
When your gutters are filled with leaves and debris water can back up against your home. This can cause a host of problems, including roof, siding and wood trim damage. In addition, it can cause leaks and ice dams during freezing temperatures.
Many of these maintenance items can be performed by homeowners; however, some are best left to the experts. Our sales and service professionals are neat and courteous, so you’ll feel comfortable having them work in your home. Redding’s staff enjoy serving the Greater Mercer County community and always provides a multitude of options to meet individual homeowner needs and budgets. Just call 609-924-0166 to schedule an appointment. You can also use our online estimate scheduler if you prefer.