Few Seasonal Tips for Homeowners:
· Reasons why you should have your gutters cleaned.
· How to winterize your house and save money?
Gutters serve an important role on and around your home. They assist with controlling the flow of rain water to protect your home. They keep the water from getting into the roof, walls, foundation and landscaping around the perimeter of your home. If neglected, gutters can be a nightmare.
Clogged gutters from leaves, sticks or other leafy debris will cause damage to the interior and exterior of your home.
If you do not maintain your gutters you could have the following issues:
1. Leaky roof, walls, or foundation due to backed up downspouts or gutters.
2. Perfect breeding ground for insects and critters.
3. Perfect home for pests and rodents
You can judge how often you should have your gutters cleaned based on your location. If you live in an area that has many trees with falling leaves then you may find yourself cleaning more frequently. It should be done a minimum of two times a year as leaves fall year-round. Another option to avoid having to continuously clean gutters and reduce debris buildup is getting gutter covers. Good covers such as LeaFree will allow free water-flow and prevent any or very little debris from getting inside the gutter. Do your homework when shopping for gutter guards or covers. You could pay tons of money for these and find they do not do the job.
Be observant of your surrounding area and determine your time schedule for a gutter cleaning. Having your gutters cleaned will save you tons of money and headaches down the road.
Should you clean them yourself? Well, many people, myself included like to be do-ityourselfers but sometimes you need to step back and consider safety and experience. You must determine the risk for yourself.
Winterizing Your Home
Preparing for winter is always a pain. I know for myself, I dread the winter onset. But I am always prepared. How to save money while winterizing your home? The following are suggestions to help:
1. Give your heating system a tune-up and change Furnace filters. Dirty filters restrict air flow. If you can, have your whole system cleaned to get any dust and dirt and bacteria out before you crank it up for the long winter. Also have your duct system inspected to properly seal any areas that allow air to escape the duct.
2. Reverse your ceiling fans in a clockwise rotation. By reversing the direction of the blades, it circulates the warmer air near the top of the ceiling to the living space. This could cut your cost by 10%.
3. Winterize you’re A/C units and water lines. Drain any hoses and pipes in air conditioning units and double check there is not excess water inside the equipment. You can blow out lines with an air compressor to ensure no water remains. Store any hoses that have been drained away and turn off all exterior water spigots. Any water lines or hoses not needed to for winter should be properly stored and drained.
4. Turn down your water heater. You can reduce water heating costs by 6-10 % if you turn your water heater to 120 degrees instead of leaving it at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. (You can also invest in more energy efficient heaters, solar heaters or tank less heaters).
a. You can also insulate the pipe lines to not only decrease chance of pipe freezing but also allows you to pay less for hot water.
5. Stop the draft. It is reported that a draft can waste about 5-30% of energy use. Use a draft snake or a rolled bath towel under a door. Anything you can place under the door to prevent the draft from coming through.
a. Install storm doors and windows and put up insulated plastic.
b. Use caulking and weather-stripping.
6. Mind the thermostat. You can save on your energy budget by turning down the thermostat during times you are away. This can also do that same during the summer with cooling. 1-3 % can be saved on heating or cooling costs each degree you drop. You can also purchase a programmable thermostat to make it easier.
a. Put on a sweater or use a blanket instead of turning up the thermostat.
Before the bitter cold hits, stay warm and cozy with all or some of these winter tips.