Advice

Here’s Your Fall Home Work

Performing routine home maintenance projects like these will help you manage your energy bills during the cooler months and help to prolong the life of your home and enhance its value.

By John Gunkelman. 
Gunkelman is current Home Builders Association of F-M president. He owns Dakota Construction of Fargo, Inc., specializing in custom homes, commercial remodeling and residential remodeling.

It is back-to-school time and not just for the kids. Homeowners should do a little “homework” themselves. Focusing on a few maintenance projects now will help prepare your home when the cold temperatures hit. Not only will these projects help you manage your energy bills, but they also enhance and protect one of your biggest investments: your home.

Minimize the Amount of Escaping Air

Heated air can escape from gaps that develop where building materials meet. Some of the most common areas include where exterior siding meets windows and doors, around roof and foundation lines, adjacent to chimneys and where pipes protrude through walls or roofs. Check all of those locations to see if any gaps have formed and if so, apply the appropriate caulk or sealant.  

Heat rises, which means heat from your home also can escape through any vulnerable areas of the roof. The most efficient way to stop heat loss is by installing ceiling and roof insulation with a minimum R-value of R-50 (R-value refers to the ability of any material to resist the passage of heat). 

Strengthen Your Windows and Doors

Your windows and doors are another area to ensure that the warm air stays in and cold air remains out. Look for any cracks in glass and near sashes and window frames. Apply adhesive foam weather strips to the top and bottom window rails, or nail felt weatherstripping where window sashes and frames make contact. Newer homes are much more likely to have double or triple-paned windows, which can dramatically improve energy efficiency. 

Don’t Neglect Your Gutters

Gutters and downspouts can easily become clogged over time, even if they have guards intended to keep out debris. Regularly inspect and clean gutters thoroughly, paying special attention to elbows and bends in the downspouts. Keep hangers fastened securely and plug any holes or cracks. You can also touch up any sections showing signs of rust with rustproof paint. 

Performing routine home maintenance projects like these will help you manage your energy bills during the cooler months and help to prolong the life of your home and enhance its value. 


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