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Seasonal Switch-Up: Tip to Get Your Home Ready for Fall Weather

Chicago HVAC - Home Improvement Tips

Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Fall

Fall is just around the corner and as the temperature starts to drop and the leaves change color, it’s time to start preparing your home for the change in season. Getting started with the essential changes, checks, and improvements now will make sure that you’re properly prepared for when the fall weather arrives.

While you’re enjoying the last of the summer warmth, there are many things that you can be doing to make the fall weather transition much easier. From essential appliance checks to prepping your home for the unique requirements of fall, we have you covered with six important preventative measures that you should be prioritizing as fall draws ever closer.

Get Your Heating Essentials Inspected

It’s always better to get your furnace or boiler checked when you’re not relying on them to heat your home, that way, if there are any problems you won’t have to suffer in the cold while the necessary repairs have to be made. The sooner that you get a professional in to take a look, the sooner you’ll be able to get the all clear on the safety and health of your furnace or boiler. Any necessary thermostat repairs and replacements should also be made before the start of the fall weather, and you should check to make sure that your heating system is up to the job of keeping your home warm. A professional inspector will be able to perform the necessary checks to give you a peace of mind over the health of your boiler, furnace, and heating so that when the fall weather rolls around, your essential appliances will be in the best possible condition to keep you warm throughout the season.

Do a Home Draft Check

During the summer, those little drafts in your home are not very noticeable, but as the fall weather arrives, you’ll begin to notice the chill. Before it gets to the point that you start to really notice the cold drafts, it’s worth sealing them up so they don’t cause any trouble. You can use a candle or incense stick to spot drafts easily, just go to the common draft areas like windows, vents, and wiring holes and watch to see if the candle flickers or the smoke from the incense stick becomes unsteady. Sealing the gaps and cracks now will save you a lot of discomfort when the fall weather descends.

Protect Your Air Conditioning Unit in Chicago, IL

The days where air conditioning is required will soon be long-gone, so you’ll need to make sure that your air conditioning unit is covered or stored safely until it’s required once more. Not only is this important to keep the air conditioning unit safe, but you may find that you have a constant stream of drafts coming from around the unit if it’s not covered. So that your air conditioning is ready for next year, it’s also worth getting air conditioning unit maintenance performed & serviced  by the top professional HVAC service in Chicago. With any repairs done now, next summer you won’t have to worry about whether your air conditioner is going to be up to the job of keeping your home cool or not.

Clean-Up the Exterior of Your Property

Stadtler HVAC- Home Improvement Tips - Chicago

Once you’ve made sure that the inside of your home is equipped to deal with the fall weather, it’s time to make sure that your property exterior is prepared for the change. The fall will mean that your home exterior has to face much harsher weather, so it’s worth doing the necessary checks and repairs beforehand so your home can easily tackle the fall weather.

As part of your fall exterior checks, make sure that you:

– Clean any debris out of the gutters and assess them for any damage or leaks – make sure that you get any problems professionally repaired.

-Make sure that the drainage on your property is unobstructed and working as it should to prevent back-ups.

-Check over your siding to see if there are any cracks or damage that needs to be repaired.

-Assess the roof to make sure that there isn’t any evident damage that could lead to problems, like missing shingles or debris build-up.

-Clean and assess the fireplace and chimney to make sure that it’s ready for use in the fall and is structurally stable.

-Performing the essential checks now will help you to avoid much more troublesome issues that could arise on the exterior of your property during the fall.

Get Your Garden Prepared for the Chill

The landscape of your garden will start to look very different as summer turns into fall and the first signs of the fall weather start to have an effect. As well as planting your fall flowers or vegetables, there are other essential landscaping chores that need to be done in preparation for fall. To get your garden ready for fall, make sure that you:

-Rake up any leaves and double check the local requirements for having them removed. If you’re expecting a large number of leaves to fall on your garden in fall, then starting a compost pile can help you to manage them.

-Get your sprinklers serviced and pack away your garden hose.

-Check that your trees are in good health and make sure that the branches aren’t going to cause problems if the fall weather turns bad.

-Trim any garden hedges and bushes and fertilize your grass to help stop it getting damaged with the change in weather.

Pack Away the Summer Essentials & Prep the Fall Ones

A house in the summer has very different requirements to a house in the fall, so before the summer comes fully to an end, it’s worth packing up the essential summer items to make-way for your fall items. Summer furniture should be safely stored away, any power equipment exclusively for summer use should be serviced, and you should get your pool serviced and covered.

It’s worth taking some time to make sure that everything is properly organized so when the fall weather ends, and summer eventually comes around again, everything is ready and in excellent condition to be used again. As you say goodbye to the summer essentials for another year, the time comes to get all the important items for fall ready and invest in any new ones that you might need. If you have a generator then you may need to purchase extra gasoline, you’ll want to air out your fall clothes, and it’ll pay off later if you make sure that you have a door mat ready to catch muddy boots!

As summer weather turns into fall weather, the whole landscape starts to change, and the holiday season begins. Making sure that you get all the essential checks done early will free you up to enjoy the best of the fall weather as and when it arrives. With everything prepared in advanced, you may even find that you avoid some additional costs that maintaining your home in fall can bring!

Reduce Summer Energy Costs with These Hacks

All of you who love to open your energy bill and see a ridiculous increase in your monthly costs, please raise your hand. We didn’t think so. Every summer, millions of Americans experience just that, muttering profanities under their breath, staring in disbelief, trying to decipher kilowatt hours and their summer energy costs. Following those profanities, they consider implementing a household ban: no soul shall touch the air conditioner or the fan, we will roast alive instead.

Such drastic measures aren’t necessary: there are quite a few ways to reduce summer energy costs and save your wallet from the perils of ballooning energy bills. Whether you want to reduce your energy consumption in general, or you simply want to lend Mother Earth a helping hand, Stadtler is here to help.

 

Windows

For many climates, running your air conditioning throughout the evening just isn’t necessary: the cool nighttime air and lack of sun can do wonders for naturally cooling your home. Turn off your AC and open your windows at night, and, in the morning, shut your windows and drapes to trap the cool air already circulating within.

 

Furthermore, you can install window treatments or awnings to shade your windows, a strategy that will not only provide a little decorating pop but add some tremendous shading power. Some awnings have been proven to reduce solar heat by an astonishing 65-75%! Compared to older models, today’s awnings are much more efficient and last substantially longer. Opt for units that are water repellent, mold resistant, and light-colored—lighter colors are better at reflecting sunlight than their darker counterparts. Ensure that your selection has proper ventilation in the form of eyelets or grommets so that air can flow through. As well, look for models that roll up or retract in the winter so you can capture sunlight to warm your home when you need it.

 

Leakage

Window leaks are more common than you would imagine, especially if you have older windows. Search for leaks and seal them ( conversely, this will be of great importance as you seek to heat your home come winter). Make sure to purchase a door stopper to line the bottom of any doors may that leak air.

 

Drapes

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Closing blinds and drapes is an excellent technique for avoiding the direct sunlight that turns homes into broilers. If you can stand a little summer darkness, awesome: draw your blinds and drapes. If you must bask in daylight, try drawing the blinds and closing curtains in rooms that are not being used. This action alone is perfect for countering the sun’s greenhouse effect.

 

Air Conditioning

While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s recommended that you set your AC to 78 degrees during the summer months (if you can stand it, set it a bit higher). The goal is to create the least amount of difference between the soaring outside temperatures and your home’s interior, the result being lower energy bills from an AC unit that isn’t working overtime to cool your home. This little technique alone can amount to hundreds of dollars saved per year. When you’re more interested in maximizing savings as opposed to turning your home into a meat locker, this strategy will give you the most bang for your energy saving buck.

 

But how often do you clean your air conditioner? Are you growing a two-inch thick layer of dust over your filter, forcing your unit to work harder as a result? Be sure to clean your unit’s filter at least once a month to keep it running at optimum levels.

 

When using window AC units, check for leakage around the window units and plug accordingly, as you don’t want your precious cool air escaping outside.

 

And of course, there’s no reason to cool rooms that aren’t being used, which include empty guest rooms and vacant bedrooms. Close vents, close doors, let your unused rooms cook.

 

Water Heaters

During the summer months, you’re far more likely to enjoy a cool shower, especially after spending a day in the blistering summer heat. Consider turning down the heat on your water heater during the summer months to a range of 115 to 120 degrees, another significant contribution to reducing your summer energy bills.

 

Put Your Ceiling Fan To Work

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Is it always necessary to run your air conditioner? Probably not. Instead, your ceiling fan can put in some serious work when it comes to keeping your home cool, especially when paired with cooler evening air. One of the most important things that people forget during the summer months is the following: switch your fans so they rotate in a counter-clockwise movement, which forces cool air downward. The counterclockwise direction is optimal for the summer months, while the opposite is optimal for cooler seasons. As well, there’s no need to have your fan running with no one benefitting from it. If you’re the last person out of the room, be sure to turn the fan off.

 

Cooking

If you’re baking casseroles and cupcakes in the summer, your house is going to feel like the Mojave. Cooking warms your home significantly in the summer. But one must eat, of course. Instead of running the oven or stove, grill outside, a delicious alternative where you can cook a substantial amount food at one time (great for freezing and eating throughout the week) without turning the whole house into a sauna.

 

Unplug and Save

If you want to save a little extra on your summer energy bills, unplug appliances and electronics that aren’t being used on a regular basis. These sleeping electronics contribute significantly to your energy costs over the summer through a process called “phantom load”—engery usage during non-use. If you’re using surge protectors, flick off the power to several unused items with the press of a button.

 

Appliances & Technology

Most modern technology is Energy Star certified, but you may have some pieces in your home that are not. Consider upgrading the usual suspects—refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.— to ensure that they adhere to the EPA’s energy efficiency guidelines. This action is not only great for keeping your costs down, but also for the environment.

 

Secondly, manually managing your thermostat on a daily basis is completely old school. If possible, upgrade to a programmable unit that will take the repetition and guesswork from the equation and help you put your energy saving techniques on autopilot.

 

And don’t forget the light bulbs! If you haven’t already, replace your current fleet of light bulbs with Energy Star rated models. Also, fluorescent lights are known to generate less heat than other model bulbs.

 

Together, these energy and cost-reducing tactics will help reduce your summer energy costs and save you from the weak knees and dizziness resulting from opening a massive power bill. When you’ve leveraged all of these summer energy hacks and it comes time to do some serious cooling work, be sure to remember your friends at Stadler Heating and Cooling. We’ve been serving the Illinois community’s heating, cooling, and air quality needs for decades and would love the opportunity to help you tackle the summer heat.

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