Fall is officially here! This means cooler temperatures, rainier weather and lots of debris from trees and bushes going dormant. We want you and your home to be well prepared all the way through winter, so we’re here to share some tips and tricks you can start crossing off your list now before it’s too late! These steps, most of which you can do yourself, will ultimately lower your utility bills and protect your investment.
1.) Examine your roof/gutters/downspouts for debris: Your roof is often forgotten about because it is not at eye level to give you a subtle reminder every time you walk past it. Clear leaves, dirt, and sticks from gutters and examine downspouts for damage or loose pieces. Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may leak during winter’s storms. Check the flashing around your chimney and any openings in the roof, such as skylights for leaking problems.
2.) Tune Up Your Heating System: For about $80 to $100, a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in good repair, and that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage.
3.) Reverse Your Ceiling Fan: If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. Energy Star says the fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises). This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings — and it might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings. (more…)