For many of us, the winter season is a time for snow, sledding, hot cocoa, holiday celebrations, and warm fires, but colder temperatures also bring about the frequent use of your furnace. On average, the lifespan of a furnace is approximately 15 years. Unfortunately, it could be less if you don’t conduct maintenance regularly. How do you know if your furnace is on the fritz? Here are the top six signs you should look for:
- Strange noises when the system is running
- Burner flame is not blue, but yellow; a yellow flame could indicate carbon monoxide
- Uneven temperatures in rooms due to air not being distributed properly
- Higher than normal energy bills
- Frequent repairs
- Cold air blowing when the furnace is on
The most obvious reason you should not delay scheduling repairs? Your monthly bills will grow higher than normal. Also, remember that the longer your furnace runs while having issues, the faster it will age and need to be replaced. Finally, an inefficient furnace has the potential to become dangerous due to carbon monoxide leaks, as noted above.
An easy way to bypass these problems is to have your furnace checked by an expert each spring and fall. Yearly service checks will keep your furnace running smoothly for years to come!
One of the biggest benefits of stucco is that it can help make your home more energy efficient. However, if a stucco exterior is poorly installed or not maintained properly, several serious issues can arise. The most serious problem stems from water-related issues—specifically, excess moisture that becomes trapped in your home.
One thing you can consider to protect your investment is a stucco inspection. Only a professional stucco inspector will truly be able to tell if your home may have problems. Here is an overview of what this inspection may include:
- Visual inspection: The inspector will first walk completely around your home and look for telltale signs of moisture—such as staining, cracks, and stucco running below grade.
- Moisture probes: This method of identifying the amount of moisture in specific areas involves drilling small holes and inserting a moisture probe into an area. The probe holes are then filled with a silicone caulk that ideally matches the color of the stucco and generally blends into the system.
- Thermal imaging: An infrared image of the home can often show areas with levels of moisture that can cause problems.
If the inspector notes areas of concern, you should call a professional stucco expert to remediate and repair those areas.