Two Reasons to Keep Your Weatherstripping in Top Shape

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The weatherstripping that is installed around your doors and windows serves a very important purpose. Over time, with constant exposure to the elements and frequent use, weatherstripping will deteriorate, begin to pull away, or come completely unattached. Don’t put off repairing this seemingly small thing – deteriorated or damaged weatherstripping will impact your home in two important ways.

1. Decreased Energy Efficiency

In the winter, weatherstripping helps keep the cold air out and the warm air from your heating system in. Conversely, in summer, it helps keep the hot air out and the cool, conditioned air in. If you can see light through the area surrounding your doors or windows or at the door threshold (the metal plate on the floor beneath the door), air can move freely through. Why spend all that money running and maintaining your HVAC system only to have the air fly right out the door?

2. A Welcome Mat for Pests

Weatherstripping helps keep pests out – the “if you can see light” rule applies here too – if you can see light through the areas surrounding your doors or windows, bugs, ants, and spiders have an easy way into your home. In addition to the headache of pest infestations, you’ll incur the additional cost of a pest control service to take care of the problem. Why go through all that when you can reduce or prevent the problem all together!

How to Repair Weatherstripping

It doesn’t seem right to tell you the potential problems without giving you a solution. Here are some links to great information on repairing your weatherstripping:

  • How Stuff Works has an excellent article on installing weatherstripping and the types of weatherstripping to choose from.
  • We found this great how to video that walks you through the process.
  • This Old House also has an comprehensive guide that walks you through all things weatherstripping.

 

 

Why Maintenance is Cheaper than Repairs

home-owners-manual-a4whoaWhether on your car or your home, preventive maintenance is always cheaper than repairs. Preventive maintenance is one of those things that is easily procrastinated in the midst of our busy lives. However, some of the simplest maintenance tasks can yield the biggest return in terms of saving you money in the long run. Let’s look at some examples:

Our “Useful How To Video Links” page has links to videos about most of these topics. Check them out here!

Refrigerator: Your maintenance guide recommends cleaning the coils annually.

  • Cost of cleaning the coils: FREE
  • Cost of extra electricity to run poorly maintained refrigerator: $5-$10 per month
  • Cost of repairing the compressor which can fail because dirty coils prevent it from working properly: $400-$600
  • Cost of replacing your refrigerator: $800-$3,000
  • Bottom Line: Simple maintenance tasks will help you get the full life of your appliance and escape pricey repair bills. Click here to read a post from our archives on refrigerator maintenance.

HVAC System: Your maintenance guide recommends replacing the filter monthly in high use seasons.

  • Cost of replacing your filter: $10-$20
  • Cost of a service call to repair the unit when the clogged air filter prevents your compressor from working properly: $200 and up. Click here for Home Advisor’s cost estimate.
  • Cost of extra electricity or gas to operate a poorly maintained system: up to a 20% increase
  • According to HousePro, up to 80% of all air conditioning and heating system failures could be eliminated by preventive maintenance. They state that every .01” of dirt on an evaporator coil can increase operating costs by 5%.
  • Bottom Line: Maintaining your HVAC system WILL save you money (and headache) in the long run! 

Water Heater: Your maintenance guide recommends draining your water heater annually.

  • Cost of draining your water heater: FREE
  • Cost of repairing a failed water heater: $500-$900
  • Cost of replacing a water heater: $850-$1,100. Click here for Home Advisor’s cost estimate.
  • Bottom Line: Over time, your water heater parts will corrode as the water minerals buildup and react with the steel. Draining your water heater as recommended will extend the life of your tank and save you hundreds of dollars.
    Not sure how to drain your water heater? We have a video for that!

Irrigation: Your maintenance guide recommends checking your system monthly for proper watering and timer settings.

  • Cost of inspecting your irrigation system: FREE plus minor adjustments
  • Cost of hiring a landscaper to inspect and repair a neglected system: $100-$300
  • Cost of wasted water and plant replacement resulting from broken sprinkler heads or drip emitters and improper coverage: A lot!! One of our staff members here at Home Experience recently had their older irrigation system fully inspected and repaired. The result was a whopping $100 a month savings on their water bill!
  • Bottom Line: Simply walking through your yard while your irrigation system is on will show you the areas that have leaks, broken parts, or improper coverage. Look for excessive runoff towards the end of the irrigation run times – run off indicates that the area is getting too much water.

Not very handy or just don’t have time to take care of some of your home’s maintenance needs? Consider hiring a handyman to take care of these things for you. It will be worth it in the long run! www.homeadvisor.com can help you find a reliable professional.

Excellent Pumpkin Picking and Decorating Tips

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We searched the web and found some helpful and innovative ideas for picking and carving your pumpkin. Why not get a little creative with your pumpkins this year?

Pick the Perfect Pumpkin

How to Pick the Perfect Pumpkin

How to Select the Perfect Pumpkin (DIY Network)

Lengthen Your Pumpkin’s Life

How to Make Carved Pumpkins Last Longer

Preserving Your Jack-O-Lantern

Pumpkin Decorating Ideas Like You Never Seen Before!

Easy No Carve Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

Pumpkin Carving with a Drill (You have to see these beauties!)