ASK A BUILDER
By CCHRC Staff
The “Ask a Builder” series is dedicated to answering some of the many questions Fairbanks residents have about building, energy and the many other parts of home life.
Q: I want to inspect my home this summer, just in case there are any repairs I should make.
What kind of things do I want to look at?
The parts of your home that have moving parts or are exposed to hot or cold are most likely to need maintenance.
To begin, inspect your windows to make sure they open and close properly and seal well. Look at door and window hinges and related gasket seals and check for any condensation or breakage between your window panes. Inspect your chimney, which will prevent potential stack fires and will also improve efficiency. Especially inspect where your chimney goes through your attic and roof.
Have your boiler or furnace inspected for proper functioning and change your fuel filter if you use oil heat. Replace any air filters, including those in your heat recovery ventilator.
Check to see if your foundation exhibits any signs of cracking or movement, which is a sign of shifting soil or settling. Look at the exterior walls and roof of your home for any deteriorating siding or roofing. Fading, peeling paint or corroding roof tiles are an indication you may need to replace roofing, or treat or paint your home.
Inspect your attic and crawlspace for problems, especially moisture. Have your septic tank pumped. Add salt to your water softener and change water filters. Replace batteries in your smoke alarms and CO2 sensors and make sure both are working properly.
Remember it is easier to make repairs such as these in the summer than in the winter. Putting off home maintenance is tempting to do on a bright sunny day, but you may pay for it later with time, money and convenience.
Can I break my wind turbine or overload the system?
The Fairbanks area does not often get extremely strong winds, so overburdening a wind turbine system is unlikely.
Wherever you live, you want to be sure your turbine is properly sized. Do not settle for an inexpensive turbine and hope for the best — purchase a durable model rated for those conditions.
When shopping for your system, note that some are designed to cope with irregular conditions.
If the turbine is connected to the power grid it will put power onto the grid and not overload. Some systems will even shut down to avoid problems from extreme high winds. No matter the situation, consult with a professional before you begin any wind project, make sure to choose the right turbine for your area and perform regular maintenance as specified by the manufacturer.
Alaska HomeWise articles promote home awareness for the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC). If you have a question, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.You can also call the CCHRC at (907) 457-3454.