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Winter Tips and Happy Holidays December 19, 2011

Posted by homeinspectionsatlantachris in Maintenance.
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Winter is quickly approaching!  With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is easy to forget the simple home maintenance tasks that are important to complete during this time of year.  Even if you live in one of the warmest areas of the country, the temperature drops during the winter season will have both a physical and economical impact on your home.

Below is a list of winter tips that will not only help protect your home from the cooler temperatures, but also assist in reducing your winter bills.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts.  Take time to remove debris from your gutters before the temperatures reach the lows.  At the same time, make sure all downspouts are free of debris and are releasing water away from the house.
Check Furnace.  Evaluate the efficiency of your furnace.  If you have an older furnace, have a heating expert inspect the furnace to ensure it is performing correctly and resourcefully.  If it is not, you will want to have the required maintenance done before the need arises.
Examine Fireplace and Chimney.  Fireplaces and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected yearly.   In addition, test the flue on your fireplace to ensure there is a tight seal when it is closed.
Clear House Vents.  Many people accidentally block air vents with furniture or other household items.  By doing so, airflow is obstructed and the home’s air efficiency greatly drops.
Program Thermostat.  Programmable thermostats are recommended, as they are able to adjust to energy saving temperatures when you are out of the home or asleep.
Inspect Windows.  Carefully inspect all windows (and window panes) for cracks, and ensure that each window opens and closes properly.  Consider replacing older windows with new, double-pane windows that are more energy efficient.
Seal Cracks and Gaps.  Inspect areas around doors and windows for any openings that may produce drafts.  Since warm air can be lost from such gaps, install weather stripping or apply caulk wherever necessary.
Insulate Attic.  Properly insulating your attic is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to begin noticing energy savings.  Other areas that can benefit from insulation are basements and crawlspaces.
Switch Ceiling Fan Directions.  Ceiling fans can also be utilized in the winter months for air comfort.  Since warm air rises, the warmest air in a room will always be located near the ceiling.  By reversing the direction of the fan’s spin, the warm air at the top of the ceiling will be pushed down.
Utilize Natural Heat.  Open drapes and blinds during the day so natural sunlight is able to assist in the warming of your home.
I trust you’ve found this information helpful.  As your lifetime real estate advisor, I am committed to serving as a resource whenever the need arises.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

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