TIP OF THE WEEK
Cooler seasonal temperatures can have an impact on not only your home, but also your wallet. Along with adjusting your thermostat as the cooler weather embraces much of the country, weatherizing your home also has a direct impact on the amount of energy required to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. Follow these five easy DIY home weatherizing tips to increase your home’s energy efficiency and lower the utility bill each month.
Turn on the humidifier. Increasing the humidity in your home during the cooler months adds moisture to your living space. Be sure to maintain a relative humidity in the home between 20 to 40 percent. As the temperature outside drops, lower this percentage so condensation does not form on the windows.
Seal the gaps. Areas such as windows, doors, attic hatches, vents and other seasonally-used areas are prime sources for air leaks, which can cause energy bills to skyrocket. To help maintain a controlled climate inside the home and prevent air from leaking in or escaping, weatherize these areas of your home by using a temporary sealant.
Add extra insulation to all areas of your home. Adding insulation to your home reduces energy usage and increases comfort. If your home uses less than 12 inches of insulation, chances are heat is escaping. Add insulation in the attic to prevent warm air from escaping.
Run your fan in the proper direction. There are layers of air in every living space that vary in degree of temperature. Because the warmest air is closest to the ceiling, running your ceiling fan in a clockwise direction in the winter months pushes the warm air up against the ceiling and then down the walls.
Get a home energy audit. If you’ve completed the four tasks above and your energy bill is still unusually high, it might be time to request a home energy audit to pinpoint problem areas in your home.
Get rid of the wallpaper
Maybe you spent hours putting it up or maybe its an expression of your style, but no matter your attachment to your wallpaper, if you are wanting to sell your home, you could be losing out on potential buyers because of it. Because wallpaper is a personal choice, removing it increases your chances of reaching a broader buyer audience. To remove wallpaper, use a wallpaper scorer to create holes, soak the walls in a commercially prepared wallpaper remover solution or a mixture of hot water and fabric softener, strip the wallpaper from the bottom upward and clean the walls with a mixture of hot water and dish detergent.
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Test your paint before you buy
You’ve found the color you’ve been dreaming of to paint your walls, so naturally you buy plenty of gallons of your selected color. After applying the paint everywhere and letting it fully dry, you notice that something isn’t right. The hue doesn’t quite match what you saw on the paint sample or the sheen is too glossy for your liking. Instead of being stuck with several walls of a color you now are not very fond of, test your paint before spend a lot of money. To test your paint colors, paint a 2-foot by 2-foot section of your wall or paint a sample board of about the same size and allow the paint to dry to see how the color will truly work on your space. Also, be sure to place the sample patch near the ceiling if possible to get the best view of the color you picked.
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Prepping your trees for winter
Before the winter winds bring about chilly temperatures, fall is the best time to prepare your trees for coming snow and ice storms. With the changing of the seasons, tress naturally lose vital nutrients to the soil but you can help your trees over the winter months by applying a slow-release fertilizer which will re-supply the nutrients lost and improve resistance to disease, insects and stressful weather. Fall is also the time to rehydrate your trees. Using an injection probe, water the trees’ root system throughout the top 12 inches of soil. Also, be sure to prune your trees of dead or rotting branches as the added weight of a heavy snowfall or ice storm can create damage to your tree and your property.
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