As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing
Winterize Your South Jersey Home
With winter approaching homeowners are looking for ways to winterize their homes to provide comfort, safety, and cost efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy has predicted that we will see warmer temperatures this season, along with lower energy costs. One of our biggest investments is our home and maintaining it is vital to its overall value. The tips below are inexpensive ways to prepare your home for the upcoming season. The BBB offers the following tips for winterizing homes:
Caulking and Weather Stripping
To prevent air leaks, homeowners should inspect the caulking around windows and doors to check for cracking and peeling. In addition, ensure that doors and windows are shut tightly and no cold air is coming in due to worn down weather stripping.
By reversing the direction of your ceiling fan so the blades turn clockwise, you push warm air down and force it around the room.
Ducts should be cleaned once every two years. Homeowners also should consider adding insulation to any exposed duct work to prevent losing heated air.
Many of us fail to replace our air filters as often as we should. Remember, clean filters are a great way to reduce indoor air pollution when your home will have less natural ventilation during winter months.
When a winter storm strikes, an emergency kit should have all essential materials in one handy place. An emergency kit should include flashlights, candles and matches, a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food and a battery-powered radio. Create the same emergency kit for the car as well, including a couple blankets.
Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors
Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and install fresh batteries. Homeowners should consider replacing smoke alarms older than 10 years.
Gutters and ridge vents
Gutters should be cleaned to prevent any clogs that would cause rainwater to back up and freeze, making the gutters expand and crack. The ridge vents need to be cleaned as well in order to help prevent stagnate air.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 27,000 house fires originate in poorly maintained chimneys or fireplaces each year, so consulting a professional chimney sweep is something every homeowner should consider. Not only will they clean the inside of the chimney which likely has soot, creosote, and debris build up, they will also take note of and repair structural damage.
Window screens should be taken down and replaced with storm windows; they provide an extra layer of protection and keep the house warmer. It’s also a good idea to install storm windows in the attic to stop warm air from leaking through. Investing in a window insulator kit is an inexpensive option to keep out drafts.
For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to www.bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, please call the BBB Hotline: 903-581-8373.
Sam Lepore is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Moorestown, NJ. Call him today at 856.297.6827 ....