When building a house or addition with a crawl space underneath, make sure to install a vapor barrier to prevent moisture infiltration into the floor system.
Take more showers than baths. Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household. You use 15-25 gallons of hot water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons during a 5-minute shower.
Using the properly sized room air conditioner is important for comfort and efficiency. Buying too large a unit will chill the air without removing humidity, leaving you feeling cold and clammy. Talk to your dealer to determine the right size for your needs.
Oil-fired boilers should be professionally cleaned and tuned once a year. Gas-fired equipment needs to be checked every other year.
Weatherstrip and caulk all cracks between the wall and the window trim, especially under the window sills. Replace broken glass and putty any loose window panes. Caulk around the moving parts of windows with a strip-away, non-permanent caulk during the winter. This type caulk can be removed easily in the spring.
Change the filters regularly. Dirty filters restrict air flow, reducing efficiency and worse case, can cause the evaporator to ice up. Disposable fiberglass filters should replaced. Electrostatic or electronic filters need to be washed regularly.
Do you know what to do during a chimney fire? Call the fire department and exit the house - just like any other house fire. Many people choose not to do this, but if the fire does spread, don't you want the firefighters there already?
If your house is empty for a month, your heating system has to work extra hard to restore the heat when you come back. More heat is generated when a house is occupied. That's because people, pets, and appliances are like radiators that contribute to heat output.
Humid air feels warmer than dry air. Increasing the humidity of your home also helps you resist winter colds and moisturizes dry skin. Operating a room humidifier will make you feel more comfortable. If your heating system has a humidifier, make sure that itâ€™s functioning properly. You can also add humidity by keeping house plants. Plants clean the air and add moisture to it at the same time. Putting trays of water on top of radiators also helps. So does leaving the bathroom door open after a shower, to let that warm steamy air circulate through the house.
Welding inside of a shop or garage can create fumes. But they can easily be removed from the area by using industrial-type fans, or you can make your own from a recycled forced-air furnace fan. Check with the installers in your area for used fans; the cost may not be more than about $25, or they might even give you one. Cover the intake and all moving parts with heavy metal mesh, and run the power cord through a switch for easy on-off control.