Summer just yielded to fall and we’re thinking about winterizing already? With rising energy prices, it’s never too soon to consider ways to reduce energy costs and improve home comfort.
Here are some little-known but potential high-impact ways to prepare for winter that will help you save (in more ways than one!).
Purchase a Back-Up Generator
We listed this first because it’s probably last on your mind…and most important if something happens. Last winter was mild. But the fall wasn’t Remember the rain that never ended? How many Central Pennsylvania families were caught without power? A back-up generator provides peace of mind and power to help you weather ice storms, lengthy power outages and unforeseen emergencies.
Back-up generator costs can vary greatly depending on Kw capacity and installation circumstances. A ‘typical’ 10Kw Generac generator installed cost ranges from $6,500 to $8,000. They are best installed by a certified professional who can help assess your needs and provide the best fit. A back-up generator that will really protect you in a power outage is designed to meet your specific needs and is installed by a professional who can safely handle the wiring and connect the generator to your power source (typically natural gas or propane).
H.B. will ask you what you must have operational and what you desire to have operational. This is a key part of the process to determine the size of the generator you truly need. Critical items are usually functions such as refrigerators, well pumps, heating, crucial light circuits, garage door opener units. Some folks consider their aquarium as well. Central air units can be included and so can your water heater. It’s important to know that the more high-draw electrical functions that are included, the larger the unit that is required (and the more expensive to purchase and install). That’s just one reason you should work with an experienced, certified installer — to make sure you get the unit you truly need.
Once installed, your generator will run one time per week for 15 minutes. When needed, you’ll experience an automatic transfer but it’s important to know that there is a 2 second lag when power drops (clocks will reset and computer work may be lost). Otherwise, you’ll be covered!
Call H.B. McClure for a professional evaluation (232-4328). Let us help you identify what is essential to your comfort and safety.
Dirty duct work increases utility costs by up to 15% (by reducing system efficiency) and contributes to skin irritation, colds and much more during the dry winter months. Having your duct work cleaned is a winterizing best practice with lasting benefit – one cleaning every 8 to 10 years should do the trick!
You do have to be wary when selecting a duct cleaning partner (we hate to say this but it’s true). Lots of companies do a great job. But low-cost entry packages often don’t get to the root of the problem. See the H.B. team in action.
Most people cover outdoor water spouts and wrap exposed pipes. But sometimes that isn’t enough to prevent burst pipes or other plumbing emergencies that create enormous costs and headaches!
A winterizing plumbing inspection should also include maintenance on any electric or gas fired water heater, inspection for leads and corrosion, inspection for proper faucet and valve drainage and much more.
Don’t forget to cover the basics in addition to considering these new (but high-value) ideas! Fix cracks in windows, seal doors properly, install a Programmable Thermostat, make sure your insulation is up to code and much more. Here’s to a warm and toasty winter!