BOISE: Winter is Coming!
The Winter heating season is already underway; for many in the Northwest this year means even higher energy costs. Heating costs can make up 45% of your Winter energy bill. Hefty energy bills don’t have to dampen your holiday season however! Here are some great tips to help you save on staying warm during the cold months.
First, do an energy audit. You can do this yourself by taking a look at your energy bill and thinking of ways that you can cut back on non-heat related costs. This may be as simple as unplugging electronics that aren’t in use, or turning off lights in rooms that you’re not going to be using.
Set the thermostat at 68 when you are home; even lower if you are not going to be home. Don’t let it slip below 58 degrees if you live in a really cold area. By just setting the temperature a little lower for a few hours a day you can save over 10% on your bill in most cases.
Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees to cut back on heat lost to the environment. Heating water can account up to 18% of your energy bill so it’s good to insulate your water heater and also any pipes that carry hot water as well.
Seal up air leaks. Use a candle to test windows for drafts. If you find a draft you can seal the edges of windows with caulking or spray foam depending on the size of the leak. Also consider under door sweeps for exterior doors.
Window glass can be a big reason your home loses heat. Clear windows on the South side of your home to let as much natural light and heat in as possible. If you don’t have double paned windows, you can also keep drapes closed or use a window insulation kit to help keep cold air from coming in from the outside.
Don’t hesitate to contact a local handyman or home service provider to ask them for advice on improving your home efficiency, in some cases they will have tips that can help, or you can even hire them to come and fix the issues for you.
Saving pennies can make sense in the long run! Don’t get all heated up over high energy bills this Winter!
Winter Driving Safety in Idaho
Winter has arrived here in our valley a bit earlier than expected! The first big storm of the season has already left a surprising amount of snow on the ground and local ski escapes like Bogus Basin are looking at opening earlier than they have in almost 50 years!
With holiday trips to see friends and family as well as outings to take care of the Christmas shopping being things most of us won’t be able to avoid – not to mention just getting around in the day to day and going to work – driver safety is a very important item to consider.
Here are a few tips to help you be prepared:
Easier said than done at times, but if the weather is bad you may really need to think twice as to whether going out is truly necessary. Sometimes just staying at home is the best, safest, way to avoid trouble.
Keep It Serviced
If your car needs repairs get them done now rather than later. Breaking down in the warm months is no big deal; you can walk to get help or just wait for help to come. In Winter this may not be possible and may even be a danger in and of itself. It’s a good idea to have your vehicle winterized and to make sure the battery and electrical systems are all working properly.
Some good general maintenance tips include:
Making sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and working.
Making sure your windshield wiper fluid is full ( of fluid, NOT water ).
Making sure your gas tank is at minimum half full at all times.
Keep a bag of sand or cat litter in your trunk – this is good not only for if you get stuck but also to add a little extra weight to your vehicle.
Always keep a blanket or two as well as some clean drinking water and snacks in the vehicle in case you do get stranded somewhere for an extended time.
If you absolutely can not avoid going out the best thing to do is go slow. Four wheel drive is great for keeping you on the road while you are moving but does absolutely nothing to help if you are stopping on the ice. Slow down, plan ahead for even short trips to take a lot longer, and leave early if need be.
Living in the Northwest can be challenging over the long Winter, but it’s one of the things we endure to enjoy the rugged beauty of our state. If you take precautions and stay prepared there is no reason why the snowy months can’t be safe and enjoyable.
Idaho: Is Your Home Ready for Winter?
Fall in Idaho and Washington are beautiful things! The firey touch of color in the hills, the cool crisp mornings. But it won’t be long before the really cold weather start’s rolling in; so it’s important to get your home ready for the long chilly months that are on their way!
We’ve put together a quick checklist to help you keep your heating bills down this winter and also make your home warmer and safer for your loved ones. Check out these ideas!
Things for Indoors:
Saving energy is good, but make sure the temperature doesn’t get below 55 in the house, even when you are not home. This will help keep pipes from freezing and also save you the cost of re-warming the house when you get in.
It doesn’t hurt to leave the cupboard under a sink open in extremely cold tempatures – this lets warm air get in to keep water going. Though wasteful of water you can also leaving the faucet just dripping or trickling a little too.
Change the heating/air filters monthly – this can make a big difference in heating costs!
Make sure any attic access is closed and has a good seal.
Things for Outdoors:
Make sure all foundation vents are closed long before the snow flies!
Keep gutters cleaned – if they are clogged with leaves water can freeze and overflow or the extra weight can cause them to weaken.
Take a look at the seals around your windows and doors. Keep warm air in and cold air out can save you a bundle!
And of course: wrap or insulated outside pipes and hose bibs.
Do you have your Fall/Winter checklist all ready to go?
Got more items on that list than you can handle? We can help! Take a look at our Idaho Home Service Providers to find the home professional that’s right for you! From Window Cleaning to Carpet Installation, Heating and Cooling and more – we’ve got the experts you need to get the job done!
Get to Know Airpro!
Summer is quickly on it’s way Boise! It’s a good time to get things ready for the hot months ahead; that includes servicing your air conditioner and heating systems! We of course recommend Airpro for all your home heating and air needs in the Treasure Valley, and as part of our belief in working with folks we KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST, we want you to also get to know John Bertram from Airpro as well!
I grew up in Boise around my fathers heating and sheet metal shop. When I was in college my father had a heart attack and I came home to work for him and never changed my business. It’s been almost 40 years now.
I find great satisfaction in solving problems for people and serving people with honest pricing and quality products.
In a heating and ac business you get to work with sheet metal, electrical and control wiring, plumbing, refrigeration, indoor air quality, and duct design and installation. I like the diversity of the tasks and even after years doing it I always learn something every day.
This last week I had a customer in Caldwell call me and I was overbooked.
I was not able to make the trip to help him but was able to give him some things to try to correct his problem.
He phoned me the next day to tell me what I told him to do, fixed his problem, he thanked me. Things like this make it worth the effort for me.
If you are having problems with your air conditioner in Idaho
, or just need to put in a service call don’t hesitate to pick up the phone! I love helping my customer get exactly what they need!
Fall in Boise Already?!
Believe it or not the last week of Summer is upon us here in Boise! It seems like it was just last week that we were wondering if the sweltering heat would ever see an end; yet here we are already getting the coats out of the closet and thinking about starting the Christmas shopping.
Even though it’s not quite the end of Summer just yet, it’s still a good time to start taking care of seasonal home maintenance items before they get the jump on you!
Here are some good tips to help you keep your household in great shape for the change of seasons ahead!
Check for Drafts
Feel for drafty windows and doors. You can use a lighted candle near entry points to your home to detect where you might be experiencing air leaks. Keeping the heat in your home over the winter can save you big bucks. Talk to our Boise HVAC Pro if you need help!
Here’s one place you do NOT want to have to deal with mid-winter! If you are able to do so safely, now is the time to at least give your roof the quick once over to check for loose shingles or leaks. Need a roofer in Boise? Talk to our Roofing Pro!
Clean the Gutters
Keeping the gutters clear of debris can really help make things run a lot smoother, especially as we have the more wet Fall months ahead of us. A good once over should do the trick, but if your gutters are hard to reach or just too much to take on All Valley Window Cleaning can help you take care of them – or you can give our Boise Handyman a call also!
Winter will be a terrible time for leaks or burst pipes! Get ahead of those items by inspecting your water systems. This includes blowing out sprinklers, storing hoses, and making sure outside faucets are weather ready. Our Boise Plumbing Expert can help you with any of your plumbing questions or needs.
Chimney sweeps aren’t something just out of Mary Poppins – and if you’ve ever experienced a clogged or dirty chimney you know they are no children’s faerie tale! A filthy chimney is not only inefficient but it can be a real hazard! Keep your house warm and safe – talk to our Chimney Sweeping Pro!
No matter how long your list of honey-do’s and get-ready items may be the Boise Builders Group can help you get those things marked off your list! Get your home ready for the Winter now so you can enjoy these fast fleeting months of Fall in Boise while they last!
Want to stay up on all the fun events and festivals in Boise this Fall? The best way to do that is to LIKE our Fan Page on Facebook! We’ve always got great local information and home tips!
New Homeowner Tips: Maintenace
Being a new homeowner is an exciting time in your life
; getting your new home in order is without a doubt one of your biggest focuses after the paperwork and moving is done. Getting the furniture in place and decorating, hanging photos, all these things will no doubt create a whirlwind of energy around you as you settle in.
But it shouldn’t stop there – although it may be less thrilling, it is also up to you to have a plan in mind for your new homes routine maintenance in the coming months.Besides the usual cleaning and taking care of things like carpets and dusting there are a number of things you can do to help maintain your home for years of comfort to come.
Here are some good maintenance tips to keep in mind:
• In late summer or early fall give all your systems( air condiditioning, heating, plumbing) a good inspection.
• Be sure to change air filters at least every three months.(maybe more if you are in the more dusty parts of Idaho!)
• Clean the filters and dust screens on any freezers or refridgerators frequently.
• If you have a gas furnace, keep your pilot light burning during the summer to help keep the furnace dry and prevent corrosion.
• If there is a noise, there could be a problem. Worn washers or loose parts in your faucets can be the source of noisy pipes. It’s good to make sure all washers and parts are tight and in good working order to help reduce vibration that can lead to leaks later on.
• Every four to six years, paint gutters that are not made of aluminum or vinyl to help prevent rust.
• Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure to cut back on pest problems.
• Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. An annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels.
• Vacuum the clothes dryer’s exhaust duct at least once a year. If the duct is plastic, replace it. Rigid sheet-metal ducting is best.
These are just a few suggestions. Our experienced home service professionals are more than glad to answer any questions you might have about specific parts of your home. Don’t hesitate to drop us a line here or join us on Facebook to get answers to your home maintenance questions and see what the Boise Builders Group can do for you!
Get Your Home in Boise Ready for Old Man Winter
Now is the time of year to start thinking about preparing your home for winter, because as temperatures begin to dip, your home will require maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape through the winter.
Here are some good things to think about in getting ready for the long cold winter ahead!
1) Furnace Inspection
- Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts.
- Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly.
- Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat.
- If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them.
- Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.
2) Get the Fireplace Ready
- Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
- If the chimney hasn’t been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
- Buy firewood or chop wood. Store it in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.
- Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
- Check the mortar between bricks and tuckpoint, if necessary.
3) Prevent Plumbing Freezes
- Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
- Drain all garden hoses.
- Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
- Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
- If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.
- Have any problem areas looked at by a quality Boise Plumber.
These things may seem like common knowledge, but you know what they say about an ounce of prevention…
Still have questions or concerns? Take a look at our directory of Boise home service experts to find the right home professional to fit your specific need! All of our members are trusted and experienced service providers for all household needs big or small!
Boise Air Conditioning Services
Just because summer time is drawing to a close doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take care of that trusty A/C unit! Get ready for winter by having your air conditioner serviced or repaired. The Treasure Valley air conditioning experts at Airpro can make sure that your air conditioning is running properly and ready for the long cold winter ahead.
Speaking of winter – now is the best time to make sure your home heating is ready for the chilly months ahead! Airpro also offers the best Boise area home heating service and installation. We can make sure that you’re nice and cozy warm throughout the Idaho winter season. Our prices are great and our trained and experienced technicians have the skills to get the job done right.
Contact AIRPRO in Boise today for all of your home cooling and heating needs in Idaho! We specialize in installation, repair, and servicing cooling and heating equipment as well as home air quality issues!
Call Airpro: 208-853-6556
Serving The Treasure Valley for Over a Decade!