Regular maintenance of the home, especially in preparation for Australia’s cooler months, can save money on energy bills and through the avoidance of future major repairs. Preparation means that the home’s value and aesthetics are preserved while keeping it a safe and healthy place to live.
“When the weather starts to cool, it means it’s time for some maintenance,”
Heating and cooling of houses amounts for up to 40 per cent of energy consumption in typical Australian homes . Furthermore, up to 35 per cent of a house’s heat can escape through gaps in windows, doors and roofing .
“Check windows and doors for draughts, fix what you can, consider heavier drapery and ‘door draught snakes’ for the under door gaps.
“As a provision, heating systems (and clothes dryer) filters should be cleaned and vacuumed of lint and dust build up. This not only prepares them for the work to come but also ensures greater energy efficiency.”
In preparation for the coming season Ms Vogel also recommends the clearing out of gutters and drainpipes in anticipation for rains to come and autumn foliage, as well as storing away outdoor furniture, not in use, to prevent weathering.
Time set aside to prepare for the cooler months can be used to also inspect the entire property for any minor damage.
“In general, property upkeep is essential for ensuring minor problems do not become major ones,” Ms Vogel said.
Discovering signs of an eroding roof can give homeowners time to organise several comparative quotes. However, without this foresight owners are likely, in the event of a leak or collapse, to call on the tradesperson who can repair it the soonest, not necessarily the cheapest.
“But it’s not just about saving money, it’s about the health and safety of our families. Now that you’ve ensured the air is healthier through cleaning the heater filters and accounted for possible future threats, it is time to revise fire safety in your home.
“There is a certain amount of increased risk during autumn and winter as gas and electrics, and certainly traditional wood fires, are kept running to keep us warm. Smoke alarms need to be tested (replace batteries as necessary) and fire emergency plans should be discussed with the family.”
Last year saw 10 per cent of house fires having been caused by heaters and fire places. Most of these instances could have been avoided through proper maintenance of heating systems .
“Most importantly, when you are having a heating system installed ensure it is done so by a qualified tradesperson,”
For more information about HomSource Ltd and its database of compliancy controlled and verified tradespeople call 1300 733 420 or visit the website at www.homesource.com.au.
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HomeSource Ltd is Australia’s leading provider of home assistance and advisory products. It provides home owners, landlords and property investors with emergency services, insurance products and other innovative solutions to make their home and property management easier.