Thieves and burglars aren’t the only thing you need to protect against in the Bay Area this winter. Help safeguard your home and your family from cold weather with these simple money-saving tips.
- Clean your gutters. When the leaves start falling, protect your home’s exterior and foundation walls by cleaning your gutters and downspouts. When your gutters are clogged, rain and melting snow can back up, allowing water to seep into the house, causing flood or water damage.
- Seal air leaks. Another great way to weatherize your home is to find and seal any drafts. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air leaks can account for 5%-30% of your energy bill. Most common areas include recessed lighting, door and window frames, chimney flashing and furnace flues. Go here to learn how to detect leaks. Seal any gaps with caulk or weather-stripping.
- Inspect heating ducts. Studies show that a home with poorly connected and insulated ductworks can lose up to 60% of its heated air before it reaches the vents. Every couple of years, hire a professional to inspect and clean your ducts. This will remove any dust, animal hair and other junk that can collect and cause respiratory issues.
- Clean that chimney. If your home has a chimney and/or a fireplace, have a certified chimney sweep inspect them each year in case of damage or hazards.
- Maintain your furnace. Before the coldest weather hits, turn on your furnace to make sure it’s working properly. A brief, strong odor is natural when you first fire it up. If the smell continues, turn off the furnace and call a professional. And be sure to change or clean the filter regularly throughout winter. A dirty filter obstructs air flow, reducing your furnace’s efficiency and, in extreme cases, can even cause a fire.
- Check your alarms. With the furnaces and other heating systems running in winter, the season usually sees an increase in the number of house fires and CO poisoning. Now’s an excellent time to test your smoke and CO detectors, changing any batteries over a year old. It’s also a good idea to test your fire extinguisher to ensure it still works too.
Denalect Alarm proudly serves the home security and business alarm system needs of Contra Costa County in Northern California: Anitoch, Blackhawk, Concord, Danville, Dublin, El Cerrito, Hercules, Lafayette, Livermore, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Walnut Creek.