We are now officially into week three in the Reliance Fall Home Tune-Up. Can I assume that you are now able to answer “YES!” to each one of our 10 questions? Well, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself but with just two weeks to go, hopefully you are well on your way. As with any checklist, be sure to prioritize and take care of the items that provide you with the greatest savings opportunities and peace of mind for the upcoming Winter. I myself still need to clean the gutters and finish prepping the exterior of our home, but I feel pretty confident that my family is ready for what’s in store over the next six months.
This week, we’re going to focus on items 4 through 6 on our checklist and those are directly related to exterior preparation. Let’s dig a little deeper into these items to explore the benefits of completing each.
Fall Home Tune Up – Exterior Checklist
4. Doors & Windows Sealed – Would you willingly throw 30 percent of your energy dollars out the window? I doubt it! That’s how much of a typical home’s heating is lost through its windows and doors. Most of us just assume that if windows and doors are closed, we’re preventing heat loss but without doing a thorough inspection of each and every one, we’re likely swapping that warm air produced by your furnace for the cold temperatures outside. The end result is that there is a constant energy battle at each of these entry points…wasting your family budget. Here is a quick list of things that you can do to keep that heat up and your energy costs down.
A quick and easy way to stretch your energy dollar is to simply add or replace the weather stripping to each door in the home and be sure to check and caulk windows that are sources of air leaks. When installing weather stripping on doors and windows, be sure to check for areas that are directly exposed to the elements and treat these areas as top priorities. There are a number of varieties of weather stripping from foam to metal to vinyl. Each has their own applications but if you are looking for the best protection against heat loss, foam is typically your best option. They are each inexpensive and easy to install so select the type that’s best for you and install it prior to the deep freeze. You know it’s coming!
When it comes to door frames and windows, the best way to combat energy loss is to seal all those cracks and gaps with silicone caulk. Again, this is a quick and inexpensive solution that is sure to save you money and keep your family comfortable this winter. When caulking air leaks on the exterior of a house check the following areas:
- Door frames
- Window frames
- Where the siding meets the trim
- Where the siding meets the foundation
- Where the siding meets the chimney
- Where electrical outlets, gas and water lines enter the house
5. Gutters & Downspouts Cleared – The main reason for cleaning gutters and downspouts is to ensure that they allow rainwater and melting snow to flow smoothly to the ground and prevent damage to the foundation of your home. This Fall, be sure to clean and repair your gutters! If you’re not taking the time to clean and repair annually, expect some costly repairs down the road. This step is often overlooked but with just a little bit of work, you can avoid the following risks:
- Foundation problems
- Mold problems
- Siding problems
As an extra precaution, consider eavestrough filters or gutter guards to protect from the buildup of debris during the winter months.
6. Roof Inspection – Doing a thorough inspection of your roof this fall is a very important step in preparation for what’s just around the corner. Needless to say, a roof that leaks or has damaged shingles can quickly turn into a very expensive problem. Worse still, these small leaks can damage not only the roofing structure but they also increase the possibility of issues with mold and bacteria. Not good! Avoid these issues entirely this Fall, and bring in a qualified to professional to inspect and repair any signs of damage.
That’s it for our exterior checklist. Now get back to work and be sure to join us next week when we put the finishing touches on our Fall Home Tune-Up! Any tips that you’d like to share? We want your input and would love to hear from you!