There are a lot of positive reasons to spend time looking for new ways to reduce home energy consumption in the middle of winter. Not only will it help to lower your utility bills, but it can also help to prevent issues with major appliances, reducing costs for repair and replacement. Fall River homeowners use a lot more energy in the winter for heating than people in warmer climates, so the more you can do to increase efficiency, the better it will be across the board. Home insurance in Fall River is designed to provide coverage for damage caused by unexpected accidents and conditions. Speak with an agent at your local Fall River insurance agency to find out if any improvements might make a difference in your premium. Even if it does not change the cost of home insurance, make sure to include any upgrades on your Massachusetts homeowners insurance to ensure coverage in the event of a claim.
Appliance and Equipment Performance
One of the easiest ways to determine how well something is working is to keep an eye on performance. Pay attention to any changes in the way that your home appliances or HVAC heating and cooling equipment perform during the winter. Some issues can only be spotted when the heater is being used, so take advantage of this time of year to do an in-home check. If you suspect any issues are occurring that might require repair or servicing, contact an HVAC specialist right away. The sooner you recognize a warning sign, the easier it will be to fix. Small repairs and troubleshooting can save you thousands of dollars and improve energy efficiency to lower your bills for heating and cooling year-round.
Some things you should do regularly include:
- change the filter every 30-90 days, depending on the type of filter that you use; some of the higher quality filtration products require more frequent changes; a fresh air filter is critical to ensure that the furnace is getting the proper amount of intake to run effectively and efficiently throughout the winter
- check all registers in the home to make sure that they are free of obstructions and cleaned before the first seasonal use; check periodically throughout the winter, taking time to clean or inspect registers for blockages for proper air flow
Check for Drafts and Gaps in Seals
Your home’s windows and doors are often the biggest cause of drafts and leaks. Even just one drafty spot can cause your heater to have to work harder to warm up the space, so the more you can do to seal gaps with caulking or weatherstripping, the better. One way to check is with a lit candle. Go around your home and see if the candle blows when near a door, window, or even a utility access point, such as an outlet. Expanding foam can be used to seal any holes in the exterior home, but you should plan on consulting with an expert to make more permanent repairs when you can.
- contact a local insulation installer to get a FREE home inspection to determine the age, quality, and coverage of your existing insulation materials; consider making an upgrade as soon as you can afford to do it
- ask about energy-efficient and fire safety materials that might positively impact your Massachusetts homeowners insurance; visit your local Fall River insurance agency to discuss any work that you are planning on doing or have already done to find out if it might make a difference in your annual premium
- make sure to hire a licensed, certified and insured insulation installer for best results; even small “handyman” jobs should only be completed by insured workers to protect Fall River homeowners from liability and ensure that work is done according to local, state and federal code requirements
Home Appliance Check-up
Other major appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, and ovens should also be checked throughout the year. Dryer vents should be cleaned regularly to prevent lint buildup from inside the dryer. Outside venting areas can be cleaned with a long dryer vent cleaning brush. This should be done at least once each year to reduce fire risk, but should also be checked in the winter when condensation from seasonal weather can increase issues with residual lint buildup. Refrigerator condenser coils can get dusty and dirty, hindering performance and causing the appliance to be replaced sooner than necessary. Dirty coils cause a refrigerator to work harder and longer to keep items to the desired temperature.
Contact your agent about home insurance in Fall River to make sure you have the right amount of coverage for your home. Many Fall River homeowners are underinsured and don’t realize this until it’s too late. Contact Paul Sullivan Insurance Agency to get a FREE quote for Massachusetts homeowners insurance. You can reach our team by calling 508-678-9611.