5 annual check-up tips for your home
1 Green light
If you own an older home and your furnace is 20 years old or more, it’s well worth the investment to replace it with a high-efficiency Energy Star-rated model. If your furnace was installed no more than 10 years ago, look for ways to improve “the building envelope” to help reduce energy loss. Fall is a great time to check out the seals on windows and doors, for starters, and change your furnace’s filter. If you can, have an energy audit done every five years to keep tabs on the mechanical systems in your home.
2 All charged up
You should replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year. A good rule to follow is to check your detectors when you change your clocks in the spring and fall. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide monitoring system in your home, please buy one. They cost less than $100 and have been proven to save lives.
3 Review + renew
You renew your driver’s licence, car insurance and magazine subscriptions, so it makes sense to renew your service contracts, too. There’s nothing worse than having your air conditioner conk out the week after your service contract has expired. A service plan is like an insurance policy to keep your furnace and air conditioner in tip-top shape and costs about $20 a month. Store the paperwork in a safe place, so you can check expiration dates and renewal deadlines.
4 Repair or replace?
The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends a biannual roof inspection. An asphalt shingled roof has a lifespan of 12 to 20 years, while a slate roof can last 60 years or more. While you can replace roof shingles without going through the hassle and expense of replacing the entire roof, take the time in autumn to really look closely for signs of water damage, sagging or even light shining through. If you’re unsure, hire an expert.
5 In the gutter
Clearing out the gutters is a twice-a-year job. While the work isn’t pretty, eavestroughs clogged with leaves and sticks can spell disaster for your roof. If cleaning your eavestroughs isn’t your idea of a fun Saturday, consider having leaf gutter guards installed.
Paying the price
Neglecting your home’s health now can have serious implications later. For a new roof job, expect to pay at least $3,000. Plus, a new furnace can run from $3,000 to $5,000. The average cost is $6,000+.