With the summer season almost in the rearview mirror, now is the time to focus and plan for a few simple home maintenance projects to prepare for the fall weather. Not all maintenance projects require a significant amount of time or money. Instead, seasonal projects are low or no-cost DIY projects that can also help you save money on your energy bills. Above all, incorporating these home maintenance tasks will help increase the longevity of your home.
Here are a few projects to check off your to-do list this fall:
Fill in Air Gaps
Often undetected, air escapes your home through gaps and cracks. With fall months ahead, air can enter your home on cold and windy days. Checking your home for air leaks can prevent this from happening. In addition, heated air can escape from gaps that develop where building materials meet. Experts recommend inspecting areas where building materials may have pulled apart and caulk or seal any cracks that have formed. The best place to start is by checking around roof and foundation lines, chimneys and where pipes protrude through walls or roofs.
Add Heat-Absorbing Insulation
During the cooler months, you’ll want to make the heat stays in your home. But, unfortunately, heat rises, which means heat from your home can also escape through any vulnerable roof areas. The most efficient way to stop that heat loss is by installing ceiling and roof insulation.
Wisconsin residents should use insulation rated R49 to R60 for attics. R38 to R49 for 3-4 inches of existing insulation and R25 to R30 for floors. The R-value refers to the ability of any material to resist the passage of heat.
Weather-strip Your Windows
Weather-stripping your windows allows you to stay warm and cozy in your home during the winter months. Inspect your windows by looking for cracks around glass, sashes and window frames. Experts recommend repairing any broken windows before applying any weather-stripping materials. Consider replacing old windows with ENERGY STAR-certified windows, which could lower your household energy bills by an average of 12%. A professional remodeler can help you install and replace new windows and recommend keeping your home more energy efficient.
Clean Gutters and Clear Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are easy traps for leaves and pine needles, and squirrels often use them to store food. Be sure to clean gutters thoroughly and pay special attention to elbows and bends in the downspouts. Keep hangers fastened securely and plug any holes and cracks. Touch up any sections showing signs of rust with rustproof paint. Finally, touch up any sections showing signs of rust with rustproof paint.
Inspect Your Heating Unit
Make sure ducts and pipes located in unheated spaces are insulated. Dirt streaks around your ductwork, especially near the seams, are evidence of leaks. To keep your heater functioning at an optimal level, have your unit checked and cleaned by a professional. Consider installing a thermostat with a timer that can turn the heat down while you sleep or when no one is at home also can help you save money.
Performing routine home maintenance is essential and well worth the time and effort to keep energy bills low, protect your investment, keep your family safe and prolong the life of your home. Check out the LBA Directory for qualified contractors to assist you with home maintenance tasks.