Happy Holidays everyone! Although you might have plans to relax with your friends and family over a cup of hot chocolate, there's a chance that your home isn't prepared for the cold. In order to save you some money in the long term, here are 5 small tips that can lead to big changes when it comes to maintaining your home during the winter.
Insulate Your Pipes
Burst pipes are perhaps one of the greatest fears of any homeowner. Besides the cost of replacing the pipes, there is also the potential for water damage via flooding. Depending on the damage, you could be looking at several thousands of dollars in repairs. But there's an easy way to avoid this. By using a foam-rubber based insulation to protect your pipes, you can lessen the effects of expansion. Also, if you plan on going away during the holidays, ask a friend to check on your pipes every few days
Many of us find it inconvenient or often forget about it, but smoke detectors should be checked on a regular basis. The last thing I ever want to hear about is someone who has a malfunctioning detector at a time when they need it the most. This simple task only takes a few minutes and can prevent you from losing your home and those around you.
(Protip: make sure you tell everyone in your home before testing it so you don't scare them!)
Weatherstrip Your Doors and Windows
Have you ever had an uncomfortable draft coming through your doors and windows even though they're closed? It might be because of an air leak. By weatherstripping them, you can reduce your energy consumption and your energy costs. While it may sound complicated, it's actually an easy job. Besides a hammer, drill, hacksaw, and a set of nails, you'll need a weatherstripping kit, a door sweep, and the appropriate type of foam seal depending on what your door is made out of.
Replace Your HVAC Filter
Most people don't know how problematic clogged HVAC filters can be. Old filters that have collected dust may force your HVAC system's motor to work harder to compensate. The extra step can lead to a broken HVAC that may cost anywhere between $4000 and $5000 to replace!
Changing your HVAC filter is quick, easy, and inexpensive. Many HVAC systems have an instructional panel so make sure you read it before you shop for your filter. Most experts recomend changing your filters every 90 days. If you think you might forget about it during the year, try scheduling it in your calendar or on your phone.
Hire an Energy Advisor
Not sure where to start? Consider hiring an energy advisor. They will show you how you can get the most of your energy use by creating a personalized checklist of what is acceptable and what needs to be replaced in your home. In doing this, you'll have a clear plan as to what you should work towards renovating. Energy advisors have no affiliation with utility companies; their only interest is to identify and suggest improvements within your home. To see a list of energy advisors in Edmonton, visit this link.
Do you have a home maintenance tip that I didn't mention? Reach out to me on either my Facebook or Twitter page and let me know! If you're looking to sell your current home or you have plans to buy a new home in 2016, give me a call at 780-438-2500 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you have lots of fun with your loved ones during the holidays!