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5 Ways to Get Your San Francisco Home Ready for Cooler Weather

As the temperatures start to drop in San Francisco, the changes in the weather can really do a number on your home. In order to minimize damage and maximize comfort this winter season, it’s important that you work to get your home ready for the colder weather. Read on to find out which home improvement tasks are a must for San Francisco homeowners this fall.

Pre-Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

There are a few things that you’ll need to do to make sure that your home is ready for winter. Use the checklist below as a guide for your pre-winter home maintenance:

  1. Get your fireplace ready.

If you live in a home with a fireplace, you’ll want to get the system inspected by a licensed heating contractor before you start using it this winter. Fireplaces that are well-maintained and properly serviced tend to use fuel more efficiently, have fewer issues, and last longer than those that aren’t. Be good to your fireplace, and it will keep you warm all winter.

  1. Reverse your ceiling fans.

Ceiling fans aren’t just for use in the summer. Just as they push cooler air around the room, they can also help you keep your home warm by pushing warm air from the ceiling to the rest of the room. Make sure that you change the direction of your ceiling fans so that they are spinning clockwise.

  1. Clean the gutters.

When the leaves start to fall, it’s the perfect time to inspect, clean, and repair your gutters. Your gutters help keep debris and water from building up on your roof, which helps protect your home’s foundation and prevent roof damage. Make sure that your gutters are clear of leaves and debris, and then flush them with water. Once that’s done, inspect your gutters for any damage and replace them as necessary.

  1. Prepare your deck.

Before winter arrives, you’ll want to clean and inspect your deck and furniture for any repair needs. Then, make sure that your furniture, tools, grills, and other items are covered or stored in a protected area. This will help protect these items from any damage brought on by winter weather or storms.

  1. Test your heating system.

When is the last time that you used your heater? If it’s been awhile, you’ll want to give it a quick test before winter arrives. Turn on your heating system and wait for the heat to start up. If you notice that the furnace is not heating your home, you start to hear loud noises, or you notice a burning smell that just won’t dissipate, it’s time to call Schmitt Heating to get your heating system checked before you start using it this winter.

San Francisco Heater Maintenance

Is your heating system ready for the colder months ahead? Schmitt Heating and Air Conditioning is ready to help you get your home winter-ready with an expert heating system tune-up. During our pre-winter HVAC maintenance visit, your HVAC technician will clean and inspect your furnace or central heating system to make sure it is working smoothly and efficiently for the winter season.

To schedule a fall HVAC maintenance visit, call us today: (415) 689-7849.

Use These Resources for Better Weatherproofing

Weatherproofing is an important part of protecting your home from the elements and preparing it to withstand whatever conditions may be ahead – be it inclement weather or just an extremely hot summer. Cracks and gaps around your doors and windows can allow warm or cool air to escape. This not only makes it harder for you to get comfortable, but it can also waste energy, which drives your monthly utility bills through the roof.

The key to ensuring that your home is efficient and comfortable is adequate weatherproofing. San Francisco homeowners can use the resources below to improve their weatherproofing and, ultimately, their home comfort.

Top Weatherproofing Resources

Not sure where you should start your weatherproofing project? Use the resources below to get the information and tools you need to weatherproof your home successfully:

Tips from The Home Depot

Not only is The Home Depot your go-to place for buying home improvement supplies, but they also provide a wealth of information and how-to tutorials on different home improvement projects, including weatherproofing. In Weatherproofing Your Windows, the site guides you through the weatherproofing process with a step-by-step guide as well as a list of tools that you will need. For information on weatherproofing different kinds of windows, check out this guide which offers you tips for weatherproofing depending on what type of windows you have.

If you want to weatherproof your entry door, they’ve got a guide for that too, complete with a list of tools that you will need to get the job done. Once you’ve looked through the guide, all you need to do is head to the store to pick up the supplies you need. If you still have questions or need advice on weatherproofing, you can ask the store associates as many are familiar with the weatherproofing details and can help you find everything you need.

Lowe’s Weather Stripping Tips

If you’re more of a Lowe’s fan, you’re in luck! This home improvement store also provides helpful guides for weatherproofing your San Francisco home. Use Weather Strip Your Doors to learn all you need to know about how to seal your doors properly. This guide includes a list of materials as well as a simple guide with 5 steps to weather stripping your doors.

Your doors are not the only place where cool or warm air can escape. Lowe’s has also created a short and simple guide to Weather Stripping Your Windows. This guide discusses the importance of weatherizing your home, and gives a list of tools that you will need to tackle your window weather stripping for double-hung windows and casement windows. With instructions laid out in a few easy steps, you’ll be on your way to adequate weatherproofing in no time!

Does your HVAC system need a spring cleaning? Schmitt Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help with all of your San Francisco air conditioning and heating needs. Call us today to schedule an HVAC repair or maintenance visit: (415) 689-7849.

Schmitt’s Top Winter Resources for Homeowners

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… although some homeowners don’t always feel that way. It can be difficult to get comfortable in the winter, not to mention many homeowners find their energy bills are going through the roof while they try to stay warm in the cooler weather. Meanwhile, many homeowners are trying to protect their homes from the damage that winter weather can cause.

Though winter may be a tough time of the year for homeowners, it doesn’t have to feel like a burden. Below, we have put together some of our top winter resources for homeowners. You can use these articles to better protect yourself against cold temperatures and inclement weather and you may even save a little money in the process.

How to Stay Comfortable in Winter

If you’re trying to stay comfortable this winter, then you may want to read through some of these winter resources for homeowners from Schmitt:

How Can I Reduce My Energy Costs in the Winter?

It seems like winter is the season for high energy usage. Whether it’s because you are turning up the heat, hanging out at home more often, or just taking part in all of the festivities that this time of year brings, one thing is for sure – everyone could use a few tips for saving energy and decreasing utility costs during the winter. Check out this article for some helpful tips on how you can work to decrease your energy costs during the winter.

Carbon Monoxide: The Facts

It is important to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly in some cases. Monitoring for CO in your home is especially important during the winter months when you tend to use your heater or furnace more often. In this article, we explain the basics of carbon monoxide and how it impacts your health as well as discuss the importance of carbon monoxide alarms, which may very well save your life someday.

Understanding the Importance of Changing Your Air Filter

Changing or cleaning your air filter on a regular basis may seem like IAQ 101, but some homeowners don’t realize just how much their clogged or dirty air filter can impact both their indoor air quality and the efficiency of their heating and cooling equipment. If you find yourself using your heat often during the winter, it’s important to check your furnace filter regularly and change when necessary. Share this article with someone you know who hasn’t changed their air filter in months!

If you enjoyed these winter home resources from Schmitt then you may enjoy our HVAC blog, which we update monthly with articles on HVAC, home improvement, home comfort, and much more. If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest in home comfort, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. We love interacting with our fans and posting informative articles and special promotions year-round.

Beautify Your Outdoor Space: How to Conceal Your Outdoor AC Unit

Your HVAC system is an amazing invention. It keeps you cool in summer and warm when the weather starts to cool down. Though your HVAC system is crucial to maintaining home comfort for you and your family, it is not exactly the most attractive piece of machinery. To improve the look of your home’s exterior, try concealing your outdoor HVAC unit. With the DIY tips we have listed below, you can easily camouflage the AC unit without impairing the functionality.

How to Conceal Your Outdoor AC Unit

Concealing your outdoor AC unit doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Here are our favorite DIY tips for hiding your outdoor HVAC unit:

1. Fence it.

Create an adorable picket fence or lattice to surround your air conditioning unit. Add a statement piece, such as a wooden heart, in the middle of the fence or hang other decorative outdoor decorations from the outer side of the fence so that it becomes a part of your living space.

2. Make Something Grow.

If you have a green thumb, then you would be thrilled with a vertical garden. Essentially, you cover the surrounding area of your air conditioning unit with wooden pallets which can feasibly grow your flowers or greenery inside the crevices. This is a great way to create a tiered planting space for herbs, small florals, or succulents.

3. Hedge it.
Plant hedges or other plants around the air conditioning unit to help keep it concealed. If real plants are not your thing, consider an artificial outdoor boxwood hedge. This option is quite simple, but still gets the job done. When planting hedges or hiding the unit behind potted plants, make sure that all of the shrubbery is at least one foot away from the unit to avoid debris clogging the unit.

4. Create an edifice.
Make a faux brick wall or other barricade between your AC unit and the rest of your backyard. You can make this wall out of a variety of materials, including two-by-fours, pallets, or other types of wood. Again, make sure that there is room for the unit to breathe and be maintained.

Remember: In any case, you need to make sure NOT to attach anything directly to your outdoor condenser unit or block it in so that it cannot be accessed by an HVAC technician. In the event that your air conditioning breaks down or requires inspection, this area will need to be cleared. Make sure your beautification can be moved!

Regardless of how you want to beautify or conceal your air conditioner, there are plenty of options out there to look into. It never hurts to use your creative knowledge, either. You can start something trendsetting! For all of your other HVAC needs, contact us now.