Heritage Construction’s Energy Efficient Home Maintenance Tips for Summertime
Home maintenance tips: Summer’s harsh temperatures inevitably place strain on a home’s AC system; for houses that are poorly sealed and drafty, the season’s heat quickly sends energy bills through the roof. In addition to reducing utility bills, sealing your home will also protect from mold and water damage, increase comfort, and lessen your overall carbon footprint.
Many smaller maintenance projects aimed at sealing your home from unwanted water, drafts and pests can be completed using DIY methods. More difficult ventures such as window replacements, door replacements, insulation installments, and roofing projects will likely require the assistance of a trusted contractor.
With over a decade of professional experience, the experts at Heritage Construction Co specialize in storm restoration services on both the residential and commercial level. For those wishing to seal their home before summer’s harsh temperatures hit full blast, the experts at Heritage Construction Co have compiled these helpful maintenance tips.
Home Maintenance Tip 1: Install Door Seals with Wipers
One of the most common sites for air leakage in any home occurs through the bottom of outside doors. On top of letting hot air in, door jambs are also commonly the entry-point for insects and other unwanted guests.
While a rolled-up towel or designated door snake may temporarily stop the air leak, neither are a true long-term solution. For a more permanent fix, consider installing a door seal accompanied by a sealed rubber wiper. These work to seal doors, preventing hot air, insects, and even noise from filtering through your front door.
If a gap along the door frame is causing air leakage, consider applying weather stripping to insulate the area and stop unwanted airflow. Keep in mind, however, that air leakage caused by a door that is warped or entirely ill-fitting will call for replacement rather than simply DIY sealing methods.
Home Maintenance Tip 2: Waterproof the Windows
Seasonal temperature changes, poor installation practices, or simple wear-and-tear will sometimes lead to gaps along window edges. Though small, these shifts are some of the most detrimental air leaks; they passively work to raise your energy costs and interior temperature of your home during the hottest months.
These smaller gaps can be sealed quite easily with waterproof caulk, which is available at most standard hardware stores. These products are generally easy to use and effective at sealing out unwanted airflow and moisture alike.
Remember, however, that waterproof filler cannot be applied in excess. If your windows are warped, cracked, ill-fitting or otherwise outdated and inefficient, you’ll save money and stress by simply installing new ones.
Home Maintenance Tip 3: Remove and Seal Unused Vents
Many older brick homes have vents fixed into both the ceiling and wall. Once useful for gas and kerosene heating, these fixtures have become largely outdated and useless with the introduction of more effective heating and cooling methods. Now, they simply serve to allow unwanted airflow and skyrocket heating and cooling costs.
While it’s possible to fix a cardboard or plastic cutout over the opening of the vent in order to reduce airflow, the method is not optimally effective and hardly ideal. For a more permanent fix, you’ll want to consider hiring a contractor to remove the vent entirely and replaster the area in order to seal it off entirely.
Home Maintenance Tip 4: Inspect and Repair the Roof
A drop or two of water may not seem like it can do much harm, but if left unfixed, moisture leaks can lead to mold, mildew, and decay. If left unsealed, these small surface-level leaks can turn into large costly structural problems.
That said, winter’s cooler temperatures followed by spring storms leave summer as an essential season to check the integrity of your home’s roof. Unfortunately, if seasonal damage has occurred, it’s likely difficult to locate and seal. When summer hits, have your roof inspected by a trusted contractor such as Heritage Construction Co. This will help avoid roof leaks entirely and catch water damage before it has the chance to happen.
Home Maintenance Tip 5: Inspect or Add to Attic Insulation
Your home’s insulation works to slow the transfer of heat through your home’s open spaces in order to reduce the loss and gain of heat. In short, it works to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Experts at the US Department of Energy recommend that for optimum function, homeowners have their insulation inspected at least once a year. Especially if you’ve recently fixed or replaced your roof due to leaks, it’s time to schedule an inspection with a trusted professional such as Heritage Construction Co.
Home Maintenance Tip 6: Service Your AC Unit
When not properly maintained, studies show that cooling units use up to 30% more energy than they standardly should. On top of increasing your environmental impact, this will also likely send your utility bill through the roof once summer’s high temperatures hit.
Especially if your cooling unit has been sitting idle during the cooler seasons, it has likely been collecting dirt, dust, leaves, and other debris that could potentially prove harmful to operation. On top of having a licensed technician check over your unit for potential problem areas, you’ll want to consider replacing your filters and giving the fans and vents a good clean in order to retain your investment and keep your AC unit running smoothly through the summer.