Media: Homeowner’s Guide to Fall Home Maintenance (Farmers Insurance)
Oct 22, 2020
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From Farmers Insurance:
"Indoor Maintenance: Attic
Insulating the attic and sealing all gaps and cracks around recessed lighting, plumbing, chimneys and other breaks in the attic floor — any place where warm air can escape and cold air can sneak in — is the top recommendation of the nonprofit Center for Energy and Environment in Minnesota. It pays for itself quickly in reduced heating costs, says the center’s Ashley Robertson. Insulating the attic not only keeps warmth in the living space below but also helps prevent ice dams on the roof. The EPA recommends an R-value of 38, or about 10 to 14 inches of insulation, with enough that the insulation rises above the floor joists. Attic vents should be clear of dirt, twigs or insulation.
A good time for an annual HVAC system check — to look for wear in parts like the blower motor — is before having to turn on the heat, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
Robertson recommends checking local utilities to see if they offer free energy audits or rebates for energy-efficient appliances, including furnaces. She also recommends changing furnace filters every 60 to 90 days.
Using a programmable thermostat, or adjusting a manual thermostat before leaving the house or going to bed, can cut the heating bill by as much as 30 percent while still keeping a home cozy, according to the EPA. Consumers can find Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, which can be managed remotely via smart phone, for about $100 to $300. “Our recommendation is one degree back per hour that you’re gone from the home, for up to eight hours,” says Robertson..."