Fall is finally here – leaves are changing color, the smell of fresh baked pumpkin pie is wafting in the air, and thanksgiving is around the corner. What could possibly go wrong? Ah yes, winter cold is only a few weeks away. As the temperature begins to cool, now is the perfect time to begin taking inventory of things that need to be addressed around the home. Our durability checklist will help you take the right steps to ensure that your home is ready for efficient energy use this winter.
Durability checklist for fall energy savings
- Inspect your attic: If your attic is accessible, go up there to perform a quick checkup. Move the insulation around to check if you can see the light below. If you can see light, you will need to get those holes plugged up with caulk, spray foam, or weather-stripping.
- Check the settings on your water heater: Hot water is a significant source of energy loss. Ensuring your water temperature does not exceed 140°F can help save money on your electric bills. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends setting your water temperature to 120°F maximum. Temperature setting can vary depending on your house. Test it out, and see what temperature within that range is comfortable for you and your family.
- Add insulation to your hot water pipes: Your water pipes can freeze when temperatures start to drop. If your pipes are exposed in your basement ceiling, we recommend wrapping them with pipe insulation to prevent freezing. According to ENERGY STAR, insulating your hot water pipes can help reduce heat loss and raise your water temperature up 2-4°F.
- Check your heating system: Checking your system annually and replacing it if necessary will help boost its performance. It will also prevent dirt from building up in the system and improve your indoor air quality.
- Draft-proof your windows and doors: Air leakage around your windows and doors can compromise your home efficiency. Weather-stripping your doors and windows will prevent cold air from entering your home or heat from escaping it.
- Get your fireplace ready: Animal nests or creosote buildup in your fireplace can be hazardous and ignite an unwanted fire. If it has not been done already, schedule an annual inspection with a professional before building your first fire of the season. Having your fireplace inspected can help prevent chimney fires and keep you safe and warm.
If you are thinking about upgrading your mechanical system in the next five to ten years, now is the time to make your building envelope tighter. Highly efficient equipment and systems can increase the energy efficiency of your home. Bigger is not always better when it comes to systems, so make sure your new mechanical system is the right size and don’t forget to insulate!
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