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With schools back in session and temperatures starting to cool slightly, now is the time to focus on 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. 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 September:
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 will want to keep the heat inside. Unfortunately, heat rises, which means it can also escape through vulnerable roof areas. The most efficient way to stop that heat loss is by ensuring your ceiling and roof are properly insulated. This is a job that is best left to professionals, and you can find many great Chattanooga area insulation specialists in the membership directory at HBAGC.net.
Weatherstrip Your Windows
Weatherstripping 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 weatherstripping 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. Ashley Loprinzo with Rivertech Heating and Air shares, “Regular maintenance not only helps prolong the life of your system, but it also helps us find smaller problems before they cause system failure and more costly repairs.” Loprinzo continues, “We offer preventative maintenance contracts and recommend service in the spring and fall to keep your A/C and heat working at its best year-round.”
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. A wonderful place to get more ideas and connect with local area professionals to help with all your fall maintenance needs is the upcoming HBAGC Fall Home Show. Be sure to join us on September 24 and 25 at the Chattanooga Convention Center or check out more info at homeshowchattanooga.com.