Being a homeowner is a full-time job. Without keeping a good eye on the many elements of running your household, any number of pieces of equipment could succumb to wear and tear, causing expensive repairs or replacement. To avoid those steep home improvement costs and high utility bills, it’s always best to maintain a comprehensive checklist of both ongoing and seasonal responsibilities.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to give different areas of your home periodic inspections for both equipment and energy efficiency. By remaining diligent year-round, you can ensure your family’s safety and comfort, as well as save a bundle of money.
HVAC Care and Maintenance
There are various types of HVAC system styles available to the modern homeowner. Most older homes have a traditional central air conditioner and furnace combination. However, many modern homes now have more energy-efficient styles. For example, the past few years have seen increased popularity in heat pump technology. These state-of-the-art units replace both the air conditioner and heater with a single system. Common heat pump systems use an outdoor unit, called a compressor, and an indoor air handler in order to transport outside air into the home. Depending on the thermostat’s settings, that air can be either cooled or heated.
Regardless of which type of HVAC you have installed in your own home, there’s still one commonality that can befall all homeowners: air conditioner problems and the need for cost-efficient AC repair. Although there’s no substitute for routine professional air conditioner repair, there are a few tasks that you can do to avoid major AC system issues.
For example, two issues with many air conditioners are poor airflow or the equipment’s inability to reach the proper temperature. As simple as it sounds, checking your thermostat’s batteries can often be the cause of either a temperature malfunction or miscommunication between the smaller controller and the air system. If your thermostat requires replacement, it can still be much cheaper than air system replacement. Likewise, changing out your air filters every two months can go a long way in clearing the debris, dust, and other allergens that can cause filter clogs. Dirty filters are directly responsible for slowing important airflow and can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the machine. In addition, a properly running air conditioner requires less power, quickly lowering your monthly energy bills!
Curb Appeal Meets Energy Efficiency
Believe it or not, revamping some of your home’s interior can bring both more modern decor and energy efficiency to your living space. If your budget doesn’t allow for a kitchen remodel or a major home improvement project, you can swap out the appliances, faucets, and fixtures for newer water-efficient options. This simple solution can work just as successfully in your home’s bathrooms. As an added bonus, new fixtures and appliances specifically designed for energy consumption also tend to have longer lifespans, as less waste equals a lower carbon footprint.
If you decide to go with a power efficiency solution for fewer repairs, you may also want to consider your home’s window treatments. Many modern styles of drapery, curtains, and other popular high-quality types of window coverings are easier to clean than older styles and materials. In fact, according to the experts at Decor Fabrics & Design, which specializes in custom window treatments in Rochester, NY, new vertical blinds and shutters are often designed for the option of more natural light. As a basic rule of thumb, this allows your family to use less electricity to illuminate the room.
When it comes to quick homeowner troubleshooting, keep in mind that a small amount of inexpensive silicon spray into the headrail of your vertical blinds can fix any common jam. Likewise, removing your horizontal blinds and laying them down flat can fix a frustrating cord problem. This is usually due to the cord sliding off the small plastic wheel found inside the headrail. However, all homeowners should remember that preventative maintenance for any major household appliance or fixture is the best strategy. In the long run, a visit from a professional technician a few times a year can save you a fortune in equipment maintenance.