A healthy home is a happy home. Much like maintaining your own health, the proper upkeep of your home is key for its proper function and longevity. We sat down with David Kottke of Fox Service Company to discuss the ways you can keep your home healthy this year.
Keep Your Attic in Order
While building your home started at the bottom, maintaining the proper climate in your home starts at the top. In a place like Texas where attic temperatures can reach 140 degrees, Kottke says it’s a big point of focus.
“We will visually inspect the attic spaces to make sure your home has an adequate amount of insulation, proper ventilation and if radiant barrier is present, these three key home performance measures have direct relation to your indoor climate. “Your attic has everything to do with how hot or cool your home is, so the cooler your attic remains, the cooler your house will remain, and the less your A/C system will have to run to cool it down.”
Another important aspect of making sure your home is efficient, is making sure the duct work is sealed and leak free. Kottke also suggests making sure weather stripping is present around all windows and doors, and verify no visible daylight around the seal.
Maintenance is Key
Kottke also recommends that homeowners keep tabs on their hot water heater.
“On average water heaters last around ten years. If it’s more than ten years—unless you’ve been really good at maintaining it—chances are sediment has built up over time and sits on the bottom of the tank, this sediment really reduces it overall capacity of hot water and greatly reduces the water heaters efficiency. ” says Kottke
“Same with your electrical panel. We’ll take a temperature gun and we’ll run it over your electrical panel outside to make sure there’s no hotspots—breakers showing signs of heat buildup, or something that presents itself as potentially dangerous. This allows us to address a potential hazard before it becomes a full blown emergency.”
Keep it Green
Another cool way to keep your home healthy is to make sure its running as efficiently as it possibly can. Kottke says it’s something Austinites can feel good about.
“Not only are you saving yourself money but you’re also doing something to help protect the environment, you’re lowering your carbon footprint. There’s a big movement in Austin to Go Green and by doing so this improves upon our environment; your home’s health plays a big role in how efficient you can be. “
Keep Tabs On Your Heating System
Heating systems can be potentially much more dangerous than the cooling systems if not properly maintained by a licensed professional. While air conditioners absorb and transfer heat utilizing refrigerant to “cool” the air down, many heating systems utilize natural gas or propane to heat the air, both of which are combustible gases. Kottke says the furnaces that are not operating properly bring the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and even become a fire hazard in certain satiations. These are just a few examples of the immediate health or safety risks involved with gas furnaces and lack of regular recommended maintenance.
Keep Your Home Healthy
Overall, the monitoring and upkeep of these key home performance measures in your home works to promote home health, which Kottke says is of key importance.
“What home health is— it means that your home is operating as efficiently and safely as possible to ensure you are not overspending on utilities and that your home does not pose a threat to you or your family’s health and safety. This includes not only your HVAC system, but also your plumbing and electrical systems too. By considering products like a high efficiency HVAC system, LED lighting, or tankless water heaters, you not only improve a home’s health and efficiency, but its comfort too; a real win/win.”
Kottke says the benefits of maintaining your home’s health also help from a financial perspective, from saved energy dollars to the avoided high cost of the emergency service repair.
“You need your toilet, you need your electricity, and you need your A/C and heating, especially in Texas. So, the inconvenience factor that you can avoid by having these things assessed proactively, I think, far outweighs the time it takes from your routine to have a simple efficiency audit completed.”
For more info on home health, check out Fox Service Company at www.foxservice.com or give them a call at (512) 442-6782.