Fall Preparation

fall preparation

Despite continuing triple-digit temperatures here in the Valley of the Sun, fall is just around the corner, which means cooler weather is on its way. As we enjoy our last few blissful weeks of summer, it’s wise to start getting our homes ready for the season ahead before it sneaks up on us. Here are a few projects you can complete in preparation of the fall season. Bring on the pumpkin spice lattes!

Interior Maintenance

  1. Check for drafts. Stay warm, save energy and reduce your heating bills this fall by visually examining your home’s windows and doors for obvious issues, such as gaps and cracks. Other sources of drafts may include, but are not limited to, knee walls, attic hatch/opening, wiring holes, plumbing vents, and recessed lights. Fall is a great time to seal and/or caulk around all gaps and cracks to prevent drafts.
  2. Install a programmable thermostat. If you haven’t already, purchase and install a programmable thermostat. Already have one? Be sure to check the temperature settings. Setting the thermostat to automatically lower the temperature at night and when you’re not home, can result in increased energy efficiency, and substantial cost savings.
  3. Have your heating system inspected. Hire an HVAC professional to inspect your heating system. They should test for leaks, check system efficiency, and change the filter. If your system runs on gas, they will also check for carbon monoxide in the air, in order to ensure air safety. It is also a good idea to changer your return filters monthly during the fall and winter months.
  4. Keep yourself and your family safe. Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors, heat detectors, and carbon monoxide devices. Test each one to make sure they’re working properly. You may also want to draft or review a fire safety plan with your family. The NFPA is a good resource for fire safety plan information.
  5. Ensure adequate levels of insulation. Insulation is another important way to prepare your home for fall and winter. According to the Department of Energy, “In winter, heat in your home will try to flow directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated attics, garages, basements, and even to the outdoors.” This can cause your heating system to work harder than it needs to, decreasing your home’s efficiency, and costing you money. For a toasty warm home, make sure your home has adequate levels of insulation by contacting a professional insulation contractor.

Exterior Maintenance

  1. Clean the gutters. It is a good idea to remove leaves and other debris from your gutters once in the fall and again in the spring to avoid overflow and damage. Debris-ridden gutters can tear away from your house, overflow, or even damage your foundation – potentially costing you thousands of dollars’ worth of trouble. You can have your gutters professionally serviced or clean them yourself.
  2. Do a roof check. Inspecting your roof is one task that’s easy to overlook. Don’t! From the ground, you can visually inspect your roof for signs of deterioration, damage, and/or loose or missing shingles. Look at the condition of the flashing too. Back inside (preferably in the attic), check for daylight peeking through the rafters.
  3. Spring for a chimney sweep. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, that you plan on using come winter, fall is the perfect time to make sure its chimney and vents are inspected and cleaned. Search for a certified chimney sweeper at Chimney Safety Institute of America.
  4. Gear up on winter essentials. If you live in a part of Arizona that experiences snowfall or have plans to visit the snow, then you may want to restock on winter essentials, like ice melt or salt before the first winter storm hits. Replace damaged or worn shovels, sleds, and other winter toys well ahead of the crowds.

Holiday Fireplace Safety Precautions

holiday fireplace safety precautions

It’s a classic holiday image: family and friends gathered ’round the fireplace on a cold, wintry night, enjoying eggnog and warm baked cookies together. Whether it’s to warm up after a night of caroling, sitting around with family and friends, or cozying up with the kiddos to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas; it’s important to follow several fireplace safety precautions to ensure the safety of your loved ones this holiday season.

Precaution #1: Safety Checks

Soot can harden on chimney walls as flammable creosote, which is why it’s so very important for all fireplaces to be thoroughly inspected, and just as thoroughly cleaned by professional before each burning season. An annual chimney cleaning is an important first step in ensuring a safe season of heating, and should be completed at the beginning of the new fall or winter season. Checking the batteries of all fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home is also advised.

Precaution #2: Tree Placement

When decorating for the holidays, make sure that all decorations including the tree itself, is placed a safe distance from the blazing fire. It takes less than 30 seconds for a tree to engulf into flames – especially a dry one. To minimize risk, place trees and other live greenery at least three feet away from heating sources, such as the fireplace. While artificial trees don’t pose as great a risk, they too should be kept three feet away from heating sources; make sure yours is flame-retardant.

Precaution #3: No Dangling Decorations

When decorating your fireplace mantel for the holiday, keep combustible material (e.g. holiday greenery, ribbons, stockings, etc) safely on or above the mantel, not draping over the edge. One stray ember or spark can far too easily ignite any exposed decorations. You can hang decorations from the mantel on one condition: There’s no fire in the fireplace. Before starting a fire, move your stockings and decorations away from the mantel, as its always better to be safe than sorry.

Precaution #4: Watch the Gifts Too

It is recommended that you keep all holiday gifts a safe distance – a minimum of three feet – from a burning fire. Because most wrapping paper contains additives, it can go up in flames almost instantaneously! In addition to keeping the gifts a safe distance away, you should also refrain from discarding trash in your fireplace, including wrapping paper and boxes. Keep an operable fire extinguisher nearby in the event of accidental fireplace mishaps. Never dispose of your tree or other live greenery by burning it in your fireplace.

The winter holidays, spent with family and friends, should take center stage! Keep your festivities both merry and safe this Holiday by following these simple but important Holiday fireplace safety precautions. From all of us at Banker Insulation, we want to wish you a very happy and safe holiday season!

Enter To Win A Fireplace!

At Banker Insulation we offer a variety of insulation services for both residential and commercial needs…but did you know that our highly skilled contractors can offer more to you than just insulation products? We also offer many products that add a finishing touch to your home, such as Heat & Glo fireplaces.  These modern day fireplaces are great for indoor or outdoors, available in wood burning, gas or electric.  To see a full list of fireplaces please visit our website.

“Experience fire in new ways with this REVOlutionary new series.” ~ Heat & Glo.

heatngloThe brand new Heat & Glo REVO fireplace features a patented, invisible Razor™ burner, a reflective black glass interior, and a slender, 7-inch deep profile. The REVO fireplace is available in three sleek models (square, linear, vertical), making it a versatile addition to just about any space!” Quote from Heat & Glo

AND, right now you can enter to win a new REVO gas fireplace, thanks to our friends at Heat & Glo.  The grand prize is a new REVO gas fireplace ($6,000 value) or one of seven $100 American Express Gift Card weekly prizes.  Click here to enter to win!

Banker Insulation is ready to install your new fireplace today!  Our excellent service is available in ten locations serving Arizona, Southern California, Nevada, New Mexico & Washington. To schedule your estimate please call 877-708-7815, send an email or visit our website.

 

Fireplaces Arizona | Technology Information

Heat & Glo Fireplaces Arizona

Direct Vent Technology
Direct Vent Technology enables your fireplace in Arizona to utilize outside air for combustion which expells 100% of the combustion exhaust as well as by-products.

FireBrick Technology
Direct vent FireBrick gas fireplaces and inserts offer the warmth and visual glow of a genuine wood burning fireplace bypassing any inconveniences.

IntelliFire Ignition System
IntelliFire facilitates intermittent-pilot ignition (IPI) which allows you to save fuel and money when the fireplaces is not being used.

Zone Heating
Fireplaces with Zone Heating utilize a climate control technology giving homeowners the option to redirect heat output to certain areas of the home, which in turn improves heating efficiency.

Fireplaces Arizona

Stay Safe This Winter With Your Wood Or Gas Fireplace

Over one-third of all Americans use wood stoves, fireplaces, and fuel fired appliances as their heat source in winter; most people do not know how to safely use them. This is evident with 36% of residential fires being caused by heating fires. Here are a couple of tips to keep you and your family safe this summer:

  • Have your wood stove or chimney cleaned and inspected every year before use by a certified specialist.
  • Make sure not to have any flammable materials around the fireplace when in use.
  • If you have glass doors on your fireplace make sure to keep the doors open while in use. This will make sure that the fire gets enough air and that the creosote won’t build up in the chimney; if creosote builds up in the chimney it could cause a chimney fire.
  • If you don’t have glass doors on your fireplace make sure that you have a mesh cover. Make sure to keep the mesh screen closed since this will from entering the room.
  • If you are thinking about getting a new fireplace or replacing an old one visit us today. We can help you pick out the perfect gas, wood or electric fireplace to make your house a home.