As the weather begins to turn here in Seattle, it is a great time to begin weatherizing your home for the upcoming season. This list was compiled by RESG’s team and it includes simple tasks that can make a big difference in your home and will end up saving you money in the long run.
1. Check all weather stripping and thresholds
To check if weather stripping is needed around windows wet your hand with water, and run your hand around the casing of the window. The moisture on your hand will help you detect any drafts that may be passing through the window perimeter. If the stripping needs to be replaced it is generally inexpensive and easy to replace and should be done as soon as possible.
2. Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts
Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. Clean out any debris that have been caught in your gutters and then cover with mesh guards to keep out any leaves or debris from returning this season.
3.Test your thermostat
A thermostat that is only a couple degrees off can cost you a lot of money and one that is off by several degrees can cost you a small fortune. One way to do this is to set up a thermometer next to the thermostat and see if the two read the same.
4. Inspect your roof
Once the dripping starts, finding the source of the problem can be time-consuming and expensive. It is best to inspect your roof and exterior from top to bottom, looking for any cracks or damages that need to be repaired. Also, it is important to remove any moss that has accumulated on your room. If you your roof looks more like shag carpet than shingles, it may be time to clean off your roof.
5. Inspect your heating system
Noisy belts, poor performance, and erratic behavior are all signs that your heating system needs maintenance. Even if you do not notice these symptoms, it is best to schedule an inspection before the heating season begins.
6. Uncover all your air ducts
A covered air duct is less efficient and can force the heater or air conditioning unit to put out more hot or cold air than if it was uncovered. This counts for the crawl space and the roof, both of them need to breathe. This is Washington, people!
7. Clean air ducts
As air travels through a duct, it can be slowed down by debris which causes the fans to work harder to get through the air duct. Cleaning your air duct will require a professional and should be done once a year.
8. Add a few layers
This may seem like common sense, but many people do not know that when the weather changes so does your wardrobe. It is no longer necessary to wear shorts and a t-shirt around the house. Before reaching for the thermostat, add a sweatshirt and a few layers. Also, if you haven’t worn that overcoat in over a year it may be time to take a trip to the dry cleaners to remove those moth balls.
9. Winterize outside faucets
You can prevent water damage to your home by winterizing your outside faucets each fall. Turning off the water supply to your outside faucets is the best way to prevent this problem.
10. Inspect gas heaters
An improperly maintained heater can be both costly and unsafe. Have a professional check these devices annually.
11. BONUS TIP
The most common problem the Seattle Metro area runs into is a busted sprinkler system. Many homeowners forget to do two simple things: 1. Shut off outdoor water supply and 2. Blow out sprinkler system lines. The blow out method utilizes an air compressor with a Cubic Foot per Minute (CFM) rating of 80-100 for any mainline of 2″ or less. To start the blow out, shut off the irrigation water supply and, with the compressor valve in the closed position, attach the air compressor hose to the fitting. Activate the station on the controller that is the zone or sprinklers highest in elevation and the furthest from the compressor. Close the backflow isolation valves. Then slowly open the valve on the compressor; this should gradually introduce air into the irrigation system. The blow out pressure should remain below the maximum operating pressure specification of the lowest pressure rated component on that zone and should NEVER exceed 80 PSI. Don’t forget your eye protection!