School is back in full swing and the days are getting shorter and colder, this means one thing…winter is on its way. While schedules can be hectic, now is the time to take the time to prep your home for the colder temperatures, ice and eventual spring thaw.
Here are a few tips and reminders from the TEAM at Innovative Basement Authority:
1. Trim trees and hedges. While it may seem easy to trim trees once the leaves fall, it is much harder to tell what areas actually need trimmed.
2. Build up those flowerbeds around the home. Water always runs downhill. Therefore, it is important to keep the ground around your home higher than the area around it. We call this the grade.
3. Get HVAC systems cleaned and wrap the pipes. Clean and debris-free fans & vents will allow your HVAC system to heat your air in the most energy efficient way. HVAC piping is also very difficult to fit without any leaks. These air leaks can cause your warm air to be released into the basement or crawl space and the cool air to be brought into your home. Wrapping the HVAC and other pipes can keep air leaks from happening and also adds insulation to keep the air and water hotter as it travels through the system.
4. Check smoke, carbon monoxide, and other detectors and alarms. Alarm batteries should be checked and changed twice a year, think spring ahead and fall back. After the batteries are changed, check the alarm by pressing the test button.
*With carbon monoxide detectors, it is important to change the “fuel-cell electro-chemical” sensor and memory every 5-7 years. Check your model type to know exactly what your needs are.
5. Check those gutters. When your gutters get clogged with debris, water cannot flow through them. When this water overflows it goes right to the foundation of your home. This water saturation causes pressure that leads to cracks, leaks and settling.
5 ½ and while you’re up there, inspect your roof!
6. Clear downspouts and drains. We talked about checking the grade for keeping water away from your home but, it is also important to keep the drains around the home clear, so they can do their job of directing large amounts water safely away.
*Don’t forget to remove your sump pump extension tubing before the line freezes or clogs.
7. Test outdoor lighting. Replace burned out or old bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs. Think lumens instead of watts when considering the brightness. Also put LED bulbs in garages, porches and front walkways, where they will need to be bright fast and stick to CFLs in the backyard, where they may get left on for long periods.
8. Clean and sweep your chimney. Anything over 1/8” of soot is a fire hazard. It is also important to make sure the flue and flue cap are snug so drafts and critters cannot enter the home.
9. Add weather stripping/plastic to windows and doors. Air leaks can quickly become a major source of lost energy.
10. Fight heat loss through outlets. Many outlets are not insulated properly. Adding insulation behind them and using outlet protectors can stop cold air from coming in.
11. Lastly, encapsulate your crawlspace. Can you image how much cold air enters your home when your crawlspace is not properly sealed off from the earth?
When you take the time to prepare your home in the fall, it can save so much on your energy bill, thermostat and foundation.
Never lose the feeling of coming home – call Innovative Basement Authority today.