Lake Travis - Westlake Edition | July 2022

GUIDE

Local businesses oer home improvement tips

MAINTAINING YOUR HOME The National Association of Home Builders oers routine home

EMPHASIZING ENERGY EFFICIENCY While the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a professional assessment of a home’s energy eciency, it is also possible for homeowners to perform one on their own. Here is a list of areas to check when assessing a home’s energy usage.

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maintenance tips for homeowners looking to maintain their homes’ value and ensure their safety.

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AIR LEAKS Air leaks can save up to 20% on energy per year if addressed. In addition to leaking windows and doors, check for leaks on baseboards or where dierent building materials meet. Leaks can be sealed or plugged with caulk or weather stripping. LIGHTING When replacing bulbs, residents can consider LEDS as well as energy- saving incandescent bulbs. Electric utilities may oer rebates for purchasing energy-ecient lamps. INSULATION Depending on building ages, insulation may not be up to standard. Checking attics, walls near outlets and basements can ensure heat losses are kept to a minimum. Wall insulation may require a thermographic evaluation. APPLIANCES Energy use for appliances can be estimated using the energy guide label on the appliance itself or by using an electricity usage monitor. Unplugging appliances in between uses can keep them from drawing unused electricity. HEATING AND COOLING The U.S. Department of Energy recommends upgrading systems older than 15 years. Checking ductwork for dirt streaks can reveal air leaks, which can be sealed.

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Find other useful homeownership tips at www.nahb.org.

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EXTERIOR

INTERIOR

1 Roofs should be inspected by a qualied roofer every three years, and skylights should be inspected so leaks do not develop. 2 Ensure downspouts and gutters do not get clogged with leaves and other debris. 3 Inspect siding each year to see if it needs repainting, and trim shrubs away so they do not touch the siding. 4 Check for split or cracked caulking on windows and doors annually, and replace the caulk as necessary. 5 Moving parts of garage doors need to be oiled once every three months.

6 Air lters require regular replacement, generally once every three months. 7 Regularly check security alarms and circuit breakers . Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 8 Clean each faucet’s aerator every three to four months. Maintain garbage disposals by running cold water through them. 9 Masonry walls can develop a white powder that can be scrubbed o with water and a sti brush. 10 Hardwood oors without polyurethane need to be waxed with a liquid or paste “spirit” wax. Use emulsion wax on vinyl.

SOURCE: NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

SOURCE: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • JULY 2022

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