The cooler months of the year are certainly full of their own distinct charms, but for homeowners they also bring a distinct set of challenges. The precipitation levels increase, cold winds blow, and temperatures drop. Keeping our homes in good working order and ensuring they remain bright and warm doesn’t happen accidentally. Instead, it’s a … Read more
According to the U.S. Department of Energy half of what Americans spend on energy goes towards heating and cooling their homes, which means it is the single costliest energy expense for most families. The majority of us — and especially those who live in northern regions of the country — know that fall and winter … Read more
Thermostat fan ON – OFF
Use forced air heating and / or AC thermostat fan ON – OFF feature to your advantage and help your HVAC forced air system perform most efficiently.
Utilizing thermostat fan ON – OFF feature will probably be more beneficial for multi-level homes equipped with just one HVAC unit and little to no air return ports assigned for each room (ie. two air returns on a two story residence / one per floor only).
HVAC systems designed with a single air return port, usually installed in the center of the house or in the center of each floor, are often […]
Recommended thermostat settings and thermostat location
Before I explain recommended thermostat settings for energy savings I’d like to point out the best and the worst thermostat locations.
To maximize home energy savings and ensure the most efficient operation of your HVAC system, thermostat location should be chosen on an inside wall in a frequently occupied area of the house or the apartment.
Additionally, thermostat location should be at least 18″ (46cm) from any of the house’s outside walls, and approximately 5′ (1.5m) above the floor surface in a location with freely circulating air of an average temperature.
Thermostat locations you should avoid!
The recommended thermostat settings […]
Hot Water Heating Maintenance
Hot water heating maintenance procedures should be an important task on your interior fall maintenance list.
Hot water heating maintenance – bleeding hot water radiators once or twice a season
Bleeding your radiators means releasing any air trapped in them. This hot water heating maintenance process improves your hot water heating efficiency instantly. Hot water can flow into every part of the radiator, so it does a better job of warming your room.
In order to figure out your hot water heating system’s radiators performance, turn up the thermostat a few degrees above the room temperature, make sure that all […]
Combustion Air Requirements
There are four possible combustion air sources in your home;
House living space
In some cases combinations of the above combustion air sources is required, but the application of each has to be determined on an individual basis.
EXAMPLE of the combustion air calculations
For your own safety; I want you to examine the location of the fossil fuel burning appliances in your home as soon as you finish reading this chapter (furnace, water heater, fireplace, heating stove, etc.). If you have a problem figuring combustion air requirements and determining if everything is correct, email me with detailed description of your […]
Interior Fall Maintenance Tips
The interior fall maintenance tips is a second part of home maintenance check list series dedicated to routine, seasonal tasks around your house. Follow this link: exterior fall maintenance tips for the first part of those important home maintenance procedures.
We’ll start interior fall maintenance tips check list from the top of your house.
1. Evaluate your house’s attic for signs of leaks, moisture, and mold / compare suspect areas with any exterior roof observations you may have and correct issues. Moisture and mold presence might be a result of ventilation problems and during the cold season is when an […]
The amount of the roof rain gutter downspout maintenance depends mostly on the rain gutter maintenance and the downspout bottom end / its extension condition.
There’s not much to worry about if you’re living in a tree-free neighborhood, where your rain gutter downspout will (in most cases) require no maintenance.
However, every tree located close to your house will increase the chances of losing some of your valuable time on rain gutter downspout maintenance. The closer and taller the trees are, the more maintenance might be required.
The simplest method to minimize it and keep the gutter downspout interior clean is to install the rain gutter strainer. The gutter strainer will stop leafs and other debris from flowing into the downspout, and in some cases, contaminating it.
You have to remember to clean the gutter strainer periodically (depending on the number of trees surrounding your house) to prevent it from blocking the water flow.
Your rain gutter downspout should do OK without the gutter strainer if there are no trees in your area.
Clogged Rain Gutter Downspout
1. Observe your rain gutter downspout discharge while it’s raining.
If there’s little or no water coming out the downspout bottom end – check the gutter outlet first (top of the downspout / at the rain gutter attachment point). If it’s contaminated – clean it and watch if that improves the water flow.
Rain gutter maintenance is one of the most important house maintenance tasks to perform on the exterior of your property. Neglecting gutter maintenance might result in damage and costly repairs of the soffit, fascia, house wall (exterior and interior), roof decking surfaces, and other structures surrounding your property.
Rain gutters need to be cleaned more often if there are trees surrounding your house or if there are trees in the near neighborhood. During the fall, when all those trees start shedding their leaves, you may need to have the gutters cleaned several times.
Remember to perform your final downspout and gutter maintenance / check-up at the end of the fall, when all tree leaves have disappeared.
The safest method to find out how your gutters are performing is to go outside during the rain and check your downspouts.
If there’s very little / no water discharging from them, or water is overflowing the gutter edges, you have a few possible problems:
the gutter or the downspout itself is clogged – requires cleaning
the gutter has a negative slope – away from the downspout, and needs to be repositioned to discharge water properly (1/4″ slope per every 10 liner feet of the gutter will do)
section of the gutter is sagging – that happens occasionally as a result of loose nails / screws / brackets holding the gutter in place (separating from fascia board), contamination (weight of dirt, leafs and debris accumulated along the rain gutter) – requires cleaning and / or just repositioning