We’ve put together five easy yearly checks to make your home safer and more energy efficient. Our winters here in the California Bay Area are pretty mild, but we are home to a lot of houses built 40, 50, 100-plus years ago. Unless your house is brand new, there are lots of things to check or replace to make your home more energy efficient and easier on your wallet and the planet.
The experts all agree that each item on our list should be checked every year. We love the idea of getting it all done at once, but you can also spread out the chores throughout the year.
FIVE EASY YEARLY CHECKS FOR YOUR HOME
Weatherize Windows and Doors
Most newer homes don’t need a lot of new weatherizing, but kids, dogs, rain, heat, they all add up and there are usually one or two windows or doors that could use a new weather stripping or a dab of caulk.
Level up: If your house is very old, it may be time to look at replacing your windows and even doors with new, energy efficient models.
Get Your Chimney Cleaned
This is an easy yearly check and it’s the perfect time of year for this chore. You can do this yourself – there are videos out there, but there are professional cleaners all up and down the peninsula and we recommend going with an expert. Chimneys collect soot but also creosote that sticks to the inside walls of your chimney. If that builds up it can become a fire hazard.
Hire a Professional to Check Your Insulation and Repair or Seal any Gaps
Insulation not only regulates how heat and cold get in (or stay out) of your home, but insulation is your biggest defense against mold. Because it helps control the temperature of your house, it also prevents condensation from forming. Over time, condensation build up leads to mold and mildew.
Service Your HVAC System or at Least Change Your Air Filters
We suggest doing this yearly check in pre-winter, so your home is most energy efficient in the colder months. If you’ve decided to service your HVAC system, contact us and we can help you find a reputable company to do the work for you. If you’re just changing out air filters, we can help you there too (though we recommend changing filters once a quarter). Come on in and get the filters you need, or order them online. Go for the good ones, they really do filter better and help keep the air in your home free from bacteria, pollen and pet dander.
Flush Your Hot Water Heater
You’ve seen the inside of an outdoor water tank, or even the vase of water you left water in after you threw the flowers out. Your water heater is no different – minerals and deposits from the water gather on the floor and walls of your tank. Flushing them out helps your tank run more efficiently, getting you hotter water faster and saving energy in the process.
Level up: Get a tankless water heater. Standard water heaters are one of your biggest energy drains. Tankless heaters are extra efficient, safer and often outlive their conventional counterparts. You can go a step further and invest in a condensing tankless water heater, which recycles extra heat until it’s no longer needed and only then vents the leftover vapor.
NEED A RECOMMENDATION?
If you have questions or need a recommendation for a reputable local Bay Area company to help you with any of these items, give us a call and our ACE Handyman Services team can help you find the right company for the job.
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