- October 02, 2015
- General Remodeling
Winter is around the corner, and now is the time to start preparing for the various weather changes that come with it, and prepping your home for any changes that would affect your utility bills and upkeep costs:
- Tune Up Your Heating System: Hire a technician to inspect your duct, furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in efficient, and that it can stay at full manufacturer standards. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage.
If you act soon, you’ll minimize the chance being on the waiting list for repairs on the coldest day of the year, as we reach our peak house call times. Call one of our licensed heating and air-conditioning contractors. The contractor should follow the protocol for ACCAs “national standard for residential maintenance” (or the QM, short for “quality maintenance”).
- Reverse Your Ceiling Fans: 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.
- Check The Roof: Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may cause leaking during winter’s storms. If need be, hire a handyman to repair a few shingles or a roofer for a larger section; our rates are very affordable. Our professional roofers will also check your chimneys and roof vents for any inconsistencies.
- Clean Your Gutters: If your gutters are full of debris, water can back up against the house, and damage roofing, siding and wood trim, eventually leaking through walls and floors after a prolonged time. You’ll typically pay $70 to $225 to clean gutters on a single-story house, depending on its size, but you will pay much less with Aria Remodeling. Call us for an estimate for competitive prices. Another way to prevent water damage is by running a flex-a-spout extension so that water runs 4 to 5 feet away from your home foundation.
- Turn Off Exterior Faucets and Irrigation System: Undrained water in pipes can freeze with extreme weather, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Drain the water that remains in outdoor faucets by turning off the main valve then letting all water out, if you don’t have frost-proof faucets (homes more than ten to 15 years old typically do not). For lawn-irrigation system, it is trickier to do so with the absence of faucets to get water out; call in a professional to do the job.
- Chimney Inspection: Although Las Vegas homes do not typically have chimneys, or people do not use them regularly, many have them for decorative purposes, or for special occasions. Before you burn the Yule log, make sure your fireplace, chimney and vents are clean and clear of all debris. That will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from creeping into your home. Schedule an annual inspection right after the fall season where there you have the most chance of getting leaves and debris from turning trees.
- Gaps Around Doors and Windows: An effective way to lower energy cost during extreme weather is making sure your home is properly insulated. The tiniest draft or leak can add up to Dollars in energy bills. Check around doors and windows; if the gaps between siding doors and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a Nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. (Check the joints in window and door frames, too.) The outside of a home is exposed to harsh outdoor elements throughout the year. Extreme heat, the sun’s UV rays, and freezing temperatures can cause acrylic caulk to lose its flexibility and degrade. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements. This movement can cause degraded acrylic caulk to crack and crumble over time, leaving gaps for air and water to seep through. Those leaks can lead towater damage, mold growth, and higher energy bills. GE’s Silicone II Window and Door product, which is “rain ready in three hours” and other fine products can be found at your local hardware store, or check with one of our specialists for advice and recommendations. Weather Strips around your doors and windows should also be inspected occasionally for sign of wear; make sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.