If you own a home in Edmonton, there are some simple steps you can take to save you money and ensure your safety.
First, once a year have your furnace, hot water heater and gas fireplaces inspected by your gas supplier. It is a free service that must be scheduled in advance. If there are any difficulties, they will be identified to you. It is a good idea to pre-purchase a couple of 36 inch Honeywell Thermo-couplers (about $9 each at Home Hardware) and have these available. If one is needed at the time of inspection or later when an appliance shuts down, the gas company technician will replace it at no additional charge. Without it, you will face a $75 charge! Obviously, it is a good investment.
Second, ensure that your smoke alarms are in working order. Test them frequently. It could save your life!
Third, make sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector properly installed near any gas appliance. CO is the ‘silent killer’ and you don’t want to be another victim.
Fourth, check the weather stripping around all exterior doors. If you can see daylight looking from the insight out, it is time to change them. They should not be painted over as this will harden them and nullify their effectiveness.
Fifth, check on the amount of attic insulation you have. Adding several inches is reasonably affordable and will greatly reduce your heat loss and your monthly bill.
Sixth, consider upgrading your inefficient older gas furnace with a new high efficient one. It will save you money over the long haul and will make your home more sale-able should that become an issue.
Seventh, before winter arrives, check the caulking around all windows. Re-caulk where necessary. It will seal possible heat loss from the home.
Eighth, consider replacing your windows with energy-efficient ones. The monthly gas savings will be noticeable! Again, it will increase the price you will receive should you decide to sell.
Ninth, if you have a wood-burning fireplace, have it regularly inspected by a certified professional. Have the chimney cleaned regularly.
Tenth, check the grading around the house. If it has sunk and the rainwater accumulates around the foundation, expect leaking and expensive-to-repair problems are near at hand. Create a positive flow away from the house by getting some clay and redoing the landscaping around the foundation. Lengthen the downspouts and make sure the water runs AWAY from the house.
Finally, it is important to have a certified electrician check out your wiring–particularly if you are purchasing a home and that home has aluminum wiring A home inspector provides this service although you might want a second opinion if there appears to be potential problems.
Eleventh, clean the house gutters at least once a year and ensure that they are running with blockages or leaks.
Twelfth, if you have wood windows, make sure that they are painted on a regular basis. A little time spent in such maintenance will length their lifespan and function by years.
Edmonton home owners, a little time spent in regular maintenance and inspection can provide you with many worry-free years in your home!