It's the middle of the heating season - how well is your furnace "breathing" through the filter? Have you been changing the filter regularly? If not, January is a great month to start a regular maintenance cycle. Furnace filters should be changed every 3 months for optimal performance of the furnace. A clean filter allows better air flow and a furnace that doesn't have to work as hard to meet the heating demands of your house.
Check out these other posts from Jovag Home Inspection for further information on furnace systems and maintenance.
One of the most common sources of drafts and cold air in a home is a leaking attic entry hatch. They are often out of sight and out of mind but can lead to a lot of chilly nights and increased heating costs.
As with any drafty situation, the first thing to look for is a source of air leakage. When air can move from one area to another it takes heat with it. This is a good thing for hot air blowing out of a heating duct register but not ideal when that same heated air is moving in to the attic or outdoors.
From the thermal images and with visual inspection of this attic hatch it appears that the weatherstripping is inadequate. There is pretty good insulation over the center of the hatch but there is obvious air movement around the perimeter. Warm air from the house is leaking in to the attic which increases heating costs and decreases comfort in the home.
It's starting to rain in the Pacific Northwest and time to perform some simple maintenance on your gutters and downspouts. Downspouts are often connected to gutters with an elbow fitting. Because of the bends in the elbow, these are prone to clogs from pine needles, leaves and other debris. It is important to make sure your gutters and downspouts can actually drain the roof before the rainy season starts. Follow the steps below to make sure your downspouts are ready for the next few months of work.
•Gloves (sharp edges on the downspout sheet metal)
•Screwdriver - typically slotted or a nut driver - usually 1/4 inch or 5/16 inch
•Clog Removal Device - I'm using a stick I found on the ground
•Colorful Language (optional, but satisfying)
Plumbing problems aren't always evident from inside the house. Inspecting your crawl space for problems is a good way to find hidden leaks and damage. Follow along in the video with a crawl space inspection that finds some hidden problems.
Winter is coming. It's almost heating season and a good time to check and/or replace your thermostat batteries. If your thermostat batteries are dying or dead, your heat isn't going to come on during the next chilly morning.
Most electronic wall mounted thermostats (ones that have a LED screen) have batteries. It's not always obvious where these batteries are located. They can be in a compartment accessible from the front or they can be hidden behind. If you can't find an obvious place for a battery, try googling "thermostat name/model changing battery".
Thermostat manufacturers recommend changing the batteries yearly. This is probably overkill if you have a heat only system as the thermostat is working for only part of the year. If you have a heat pump or A/C in addition to heat your thermostat is working throughout the year and may need yearly battery replacement due to the increased power demand.
You try to open your garage door one morning and hear a huge metallic bang. The door isn't opening but the opener still works. What happened? The most common reason for this to occur is that the torsion springs failed. Check out the video below for 3 signs to check to determine if your torsion springs are broken.
Brian Jovag, owner of Jovag Home Inspection.