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March 11, 2022
Regular care and routine updates will keep your home running smoothly and improve its efficiency. Here are five places in your home you’re probably forgetting to maintain.
1. Home Insulation
Insulation is integral to improving your home’s energy use. If your home has drafty windows, thin walls, and leaky doorframes, you won’t be able to heat or cool it efficiently. One of the best ways to cut down on energy costs is by improving your home’s insulation.
Start by investigating any openings in the external envelope of your home. You can use caulk, spray foam insulation, and weather stripping to reduce drafts around windows and doors. If your attic isn’t insulated, consider upgrading so that warm air stays in your living space instead of escaping through the roof.
2. Clean Refrigerator Coils
Periodically cleaning your fridge coils is another way to save energy in your home. These condenser coils are part of the system that keeps your fridge cold inside. When the coils get dusty, your appliance has to work harder to keep the internal temperature low.
For the best results, you should pull out your fridge and vacuum the coils every few months. While you probably won’t see a huge change in your energy bill, every investment you make in lower energy costs matters. Keeping these coils clean will also extend the life of your refrigerator.
3. HVAC System
Once your home is tightly sealed, moisture retention can become a problem. That’s one of the reasons why updating and maintaining your HVAC system is so important. While your heating and air conditioning system control internal temperatures, the ventilation system improves indoor air quality and protects your health.
You should have a professional service your HVAC system once a year to ensure everything is running smoothly. If your current systems age out, consider replacing them with EnergyStar rated models. Dedicated homeowners can earn a Pearl Certification to show future buyers the value that efficiency brings to their homes.
4. Rain Gutters
Another area that’s often overlooked is the rain gutters and downspouts. Without regular maintenance, gutters can’t channel water away from your house. Buildup in gutters can result in internal water damage that can cost thousands of dollars to fix.
You should clean out your gutters several times a year to ensure they’re clear for water to flow. If you have a lot of trees around your property, you may need to clean them more often. Gutters typically fill up during the fall and should be rechecked again before spring rains start.
5. Drain the Water Heater
Many homeowners don’t realize that their water heater requires maintenance too. About every six months, it’s important to drain your heater so that sediment and minerals don’t build up inside. If you have hard water, you should drain your water heater more often.
If left unchecked, sediment buildup can shorten the life of your heater and cause it to work harder. Regularly cleaning it out will ensure this system continues to work smoothly for many years to come.
Update for Energy Efficiency
For the 64% of Americans who own a home, staying on top of maintenance can be challenging. Complete these five steps to maintain your home and decrease its energy use. With the proper maintenance, the systems in your home should continue to work safely and efficiently for years to come. Preventive maintenance is an important investment for your family and your future.