The holidays may be the worst time to have to deal with a home maintenance issue.  With a little planning and the right information, you can be sure to have your home in tip-top shape for all your gatherings! Let’s start with the basics –

Heating Systems:  Make it a annual task to have your HVAC unit serviced before the cold weather hits hard.  One of the biggest causes of wasted energy is restricted air flow to the heating system, so have a contractor check that the filters and coils are allowing for enough air flow. Getting ahead of this issue will help you avoid appointment delays during the busy winter season and give you peace of mind.

Check Doors & Windows:  Walk around the inside and outside of your home and check it for air tightness, carefully looking for any signs of cracks where air could leak out, as this can be a significant source of energy loss. An inexpensive tube of caulk can help seal the leaks and also help prevent moisture from getting inside the walls of your home. Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring comes through walls or floors.  Inspect all doors that open to the outside or to the attic and be sure that they close tightly. If you have a leak, take a photo of your door and door jamb, and ask an employee at your local hardware store for help finding the right weatherstripping or door sweeps. Air leaks cause your heating system to work harder, which costs you more money on your utility bills—and can shorten the lifespan of your system.

Gutters & Downspouts:  Michigan definitely provides us some beautiful views during the change of season, but eventually as the temperatures fall, so do those leaves.  Often leaves, twigs and debris can clog gutters which can lead to ice dams.  Ice dams cause melting water to back up and flow into the house, resulting in a very expensive repair. Save yourself the money and trouble by thoroughly cleaning out your gutters after the leaves have fallen. Make sure to tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets, and replace any worn sections before it’s too late. Check that downspouts extend at least five feet away from the foundation. If they don’t, buy an inexpensive extension.

Spending a little time with these tasks can give you peace of mind and energy savings!