Fall Home Repairs You Can’t Ignore

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Replace your furnace filters: Simply put, a dirty filter reduces airflow and heat, which can lead to expensive repairs. Check the air filter in your furnace and be sure to change it regularly (every 3 months or sooner depending on your homes air quality).

Check your roof: Inspect your roof for leaks. Even the smallest of leaks can cause thousands of dollars worth of roof repairs. Instead of using a ladder to inspect your roof, you can use binoculars to check for missing, cracked, or curled shingles safely from the ground. You can also call in a professional to check for any leaks. Catching any potential problems before they become major catastrophes can save you thousands of dollars.

Honeywell-Pro-4000-Programmable-Thermostat

Don’t forget your thermostat: Lowering your indoor temperature by about 10 degrees while you are asleep or at work can trim up to 15% off your heating bill, according to ConsumerReports.org. You can lower the temperature manually or install a programmable thermostat such as the Honeywell PRO 4000 Programmable Thermostat. This thermostat allows you to program the temperature in your home to comfortably fit your needs, while also saving you money by being energy efficient.

Clear gutter clogs: Gutters stuffed with leaves and other debris can let water spill over the side of your house, build over your homes foundation, and seep inside. If the gutters are not cleared regularly during the fall, then any water that freezes in the gutters can force ice and snow onto the roof shingles, causing leaks and damage. Use a gutter guard system to keep water in and leaves out.

Seal off leaks: Seal any leaks in your homes windows, walls, and ductwork. Use caulk, expandable sealant, foam board and weather stripping to plug leaks around doors, windows, electrical outlets and other openings in your home. Plugging leaks around the home can lower your annual cooling and heating bills by more than $200.

Fall is a good time to get your house in order. You can’t ignore these home repairs around the house before winter comes. If you do, you’ll cost yourself time and money.

Harmful Effects of Air Pollution – How Does Your Air-fare?

 air pollution - worst cities - solutions

Breathing clean air is no longer a guarantee in the United States.  Many of our most populated metropolitan areas, as well as some surprisingly less populated regions are considered to have unhealthy levels of ozone and particle pollution. According to the American Lung Association, 131.8 million people live in an area that gets an “F” rating on air quality.  Major health risks such as asthma, heart attack, lung cancer, overall cardiovascular health, low birth weight, infant mortality and even premature death have all been linked to breathing polluted air.

There are a variety of factors that contribute to air pollution. Combustion engine vehicles such as cars, trucks, buses and jet airplanes produce toxic exhaust which creates smog and holes in the ozone layer. Factories, power plants, office buildings and personal residences also contribute to smog by burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal.  Other contributing factors can include pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and dust from fertilizers.

So, how does your air fare?

Top 5 U.S. Cities* – Highest Levels of Air Pollution:

  1. Bakersfield, CA
  2. Hanford-Corcoran, CA
  3. Los Angeles, CA
  4. Visalia-Porterville, CA
  5. Fresno-Madera, CA

Cities in the Midwest such as Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Louisville round out the top 10, so you can see that air pollution reaches from coast to coast in the United States.

Top 5 U.S. Cities* – Cleanest Air:

  1. Cheyenne, WY
  2. Santa Fe, NM
  3. Bismarck, ND
  4. Great Falls, MT
  5. Honolulu, HI

If you are not lucky enough to live in a region with the cleanest air quality, there are steps you can take to improve your own personal space.

  • Walk or bike when possible. If not, use public transportation or car pool.
  • Choose fuel efficient, low-polluting vehicles
  • Consider replacing old wood burning stoves with new energy saving EPA certified models. Buy Energy Star (environmentally friendly) products for lighting and appliances.
  • Invest in a quality furnace filter, to capture debris, dust, and more from your air and make sure to change your home’s air filters on a regular basis as recommended by the manufacturer.

 

To fill all of your air filtration needs, please visit http://www.filtersfast.com/

 * The American Lung Association State of the Air 2012 report