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Home Winterization Tips in Annapolis, Maryland

by John Collins, REALTOR

Most people would readily agree that they’re not particularly keen on paying the power company any more money than is their due. Unfortunately, a house that has not been properly winterized is the equivalent of throwing open a living room window for the duration of the season when it comes to wasting money on pointless energy cost.  Happily, many of the fixes are nearly as quick as shutting that open window and can be accomplished at little or no cost.

Inspection and Repair

Before beginning your winterizing project, it’s always a good idea to conduct a detailed inspection looking for wear and tear that might be leading to an energy loss.  A such, it just makes sense to complete the easiest tasks first, so go into the living room and check to be sure that that window is in fact closed.  Additionally, when near the window, examine the window sash and make sure that it is properly sealed against the elements.

As houses age they have a tendency to shift with time, which can form gaps that are easy entry points for bad conditions. Typical entry points are found around windows and doors.

Stop the Flow of Cold Air

To help make sure that the cold air stays outside, you need to install door sweeps on exterior doors, as well as basement and attic entry points.  Windows ought to be sealed with weather stripping tape around the edges. Finally, caulking those small cracks in the baseboards and walls will stop the flow of cold air into your home.

Frozen Pipes Equal Broken Pipes

As temperatures dip, the danger of severe damage to a home’s pipes increases. So make sure that those pipes leading to the hot water heater are foam wrapped and insulated, while interior pipes placed near exterior walls are subject to increased risks of freezing and breakage.

Prepare Your HVAC for Summer

by John Collins, REALTOR

With record-breaking temperatures in the Midwest this winter coming after 2011’s heat dome, smart homeowners need to be looking at their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system before summer gets here. Too often things like our car, refrigerator, or plumbing is not something we think much about until something goes wrong. However, HVAC is just like your car: Preventive maintenance can keep things in good working order. This keeps you cool and your utility bill down.

Where to Start?

As you prepare your HVAC for summer, the first thing to do is to check out your utility company’s website to see what they have to offer. Most companies have plenty of tips on how to prepare your home for summer (or winter) along with inspections and incentives to make your house more energy efficient. Many of these energy-saving upgrades can be deducted from your taxes. Your utility company also provides lists of companies and people who can inspect your HVAC system.

Lightening the Load

To ensure your HVAC system is working at its best, it’s good to know how the system works. The outside condensing unit pulls air into the unit, cools it, and uses air in the house to push the cool air through the vents. Shading the outside condensing unit means cooler air goes in thus lightening the load. Additionally, the cooler you keep your house, the less your HVAC has to work.

What to do?

As you prepare your HVAC for summer, take the time to inspect your HVAC system. As stated previously, this service is often provided by your local utility company, but if you are more of a do-it-yourself type, then the following things need to be inspected. Note! Always ensure the power is OFF before working on your HVAC system!

Filters: Cleaning or replacing your filters should always be the first step. Clogged filters make your HVAC system work harder to push air through them.

Clean your unit: Since the condensing unit is outside it can accumulate all manner of dirt, debris and other gunk. Making sure it is free of these obstructions allows it to run more efficiently. Be sure to wipe down the coils! Your HVAC system works on a heat-exchange principle and dirty coils impede this process.

Check the Airflow: Be sure the unit has good air flow by not storing anything near it. Check the fan to see if it is rotating freely.

Drainage: Check and clean the condensation drain. A blocked drain can damage the system.

Levels: Ensure your HVAC unit has the proper level of refrigerant.

Other tips

HVAC systems are a recent invention and there are many low tech ways to keep your house cool.

  • If possible, try to have windows/doors open when it is cool to allow a cross breeze.
  • Close curtains/blinds on windows under direct sunlight and install retractable awnings.
  • Always run your bathroom fan during a shower as the humidity generated will cause your HVAC system to work harder.
  • Install ceiling fans! Fans keep air from stagnating and create a cooling down draft. Be sure to check your fan since most modern fans have a switch to change the rotation of the blades. Run the fan counter clockwise in the summer for cooling and clockwise in the winter.

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

Contact Information

Photo of John Collins, Realtor Real Estate
John Collins, Realtor
JohnCollinsGroup of Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
108 Old Solomons Island Road - U4
Annapolis MD 21401
Office: 410-224-4999
Cell: 410-693-6000
Fax: 410-224-4032 Email: John@JohnCollinsGroup.
John Collins, Realtor
 Office: 410-224-4999 * Cell: 410-693-6000
www.JohnCollinsGroup.Com
 of Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.   
Office: 410-224-4999 Cell: 410-693-6000 Fax: 410-224-4032
Email -
John@JohnCollinsGroup.com
108 Old Solomons Island Road, Suite U-4
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

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The finest compliment I can receive is a referral from a friend, client or colleague. If you know of someone thinking of buying or selling real estate, I would appreciate an introduction.  Please be assured I will extend them my highest degree of service and professionalism. John Collins, Realtor