With climate change only making the weather more erratic, it's more important than ever to have a robust home warranty in place to protect your pocket from unexpected maintenance and repairs. With that in mind, here are 10 recommended home warranty adjustments for climate change in California.
» Looking for a good home warranty plan? Check out our top picks for the best home warranty companies.
1. Inspect Your Home for Leaks and Moisture Damage
A key part of home ownership is inspecting your home and appliances for leaks and moisture damage. With so much of the state at risk for drought, even a small leak can strain California's water supply. The good news is most home warranty companies expect you to do regular HVAC maintenance, which includes checking your appliances for leaks.
If you haven’t already, set aside time to inspect your home or hire a professional to do it for you. That way, you can prevent this type of damage before it can start and identify any potential weak spots in your home's structure.
2. Inspect and Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts Regularly
Cleaning your gutters and downspouts regularly is essential for any homeowner, but it's especially important in California. With the state's increased risk of wildfires, it's crucial to make sure that there is no build-up of leaves or other debris around your home.
This will help to ensure that your home is not a target for embers, which can easily lead to a fire. In addition, cleaning your gutters and downspouts can help prevent water damage.
» Check out our top tips for dealing with water damage.
3. Check for Signs of Pests or Water Infiltration
Eaves, soffits, and vents are all potential entry points for pests and water. With the increased risk of flooding in California, it's important to make sure that these openings are properly sealed. In addition, checking for signs of pests on a regular basis will help you to identify an infestation early on before it has a chance to do serious damage.
4. Regularly Inspect Your Home’s Siding and Trim
With the increased risk of wildfires in California, it's more important than ever to inspect your home's siding and trim regularly. Look for signs of damage, such as cracks or missing pieces, and repair or replace them as necessary.
Cracks and gaps around doors and windows are also a common source of drafts in homes. For instance, if you’re experiencing air conditioner problems—such as your AC constantly running—it could be that you have a draft somewhere letting heat or cool air escape. Sealing it with caulk or weather stripping can help keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer, saving you money on your utility bills while making your home more comfortable.
» Want more summer home maintenance advice? Check out these summer home maintenance tips.
5. Make Sure Your Crawl Space Is Properly Vented and Insulated
Homeowners often ignore crawl spaces, but they can be a source of serious problems. If you have a crawl space, make sure it’s properly vented and insulated to help prevent moisture damage. In addition, regular inspections will help you to identify any potential problems early on.
For instance, if you live in an area prone to earthquakes, it's important to ensure that your crawl space is properly reinforced. This will help to prevent your home from shifting during an earthquake, which can cause serious damage.
6. Keep Your Swimming Pool Properly Maintained
Swimming pools are a common feature in Californian homes, but they can also be a source of major concern. If you have a pool, it's important to ensure it’s properly maintained. This includes regularly checking the pH level of the water and the pool filter.
It's important to have your pool inspected by a professional regularly. This will help to identify any potential problems, such as cracks in the pool's surface before they have a chance to cause serious damage.
The good news is that most home warranty companies—including First American Home Warranty and Cinch Home Services—offer add-on coverage for pools and spas. These plans provide coverage for repairs and the replacement of pool and spa equipment.
» Check out our pool care and maintenance guide for more tips.
7. Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances
There are several different ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. For example, your fridge is one of the biggest energy hogs in your home, so upgrading to an energy-efficient model can make a big difference. These fridges use 10-30% less energy than standard models and can save you more than $220 over time, which means they'll cost you less to operate each month and put less strain on the environment.
Likewise, LED light bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. That means they'll save you money on your electricity bill, and you won't have to replace them nearly as often. The same goes for low-flow fixtures like toilets and shower heads. Both can help you save on your water bill each month and help you reduce your water consumption overall.
8. Add Insulation
Adding insulation to your attic or walls can help keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer, making your home more comfortable year-round. This will also reduce your reliance on heating and cooling systems, lowering your energy bills and reducing your carbon footprint.
And if you really want to go the extra mile, solar panels are a great way to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and get free renewable energy from the sun. Plus, solar panels can add value to your home and help you qualify for state and federal tax credits.
» Want to stay warm this winter? Check out these heating system maintenance tips.
9. Replace Old Windows
Old windows are often drafty, making it difficult to regulate the temperature in your home. Replacing them with new, efficient windows can help keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round without having to rely as much on heating and cooling systems.
Plus, new windows can also improve the look of your home from both the inside and outside.
10. Plant Trees Around Your Property
Trees not only provide shade and beauty but can also help cool your house in the summertime. They do this by blocking sunlight from entering through windows while also providing natural insulation.
Just be sure to plant them strategically so they don't block any important views, and make sure you trim trees and shrubs regularly. Overgrown trees and shrubs can damage your home in a storm, so it's important to keep them trimmed.
Bonus Tips for Climate Change in California
As you make home warranty adjustments for climate change in California, here are a few more tips to keep in mind:
- Update your homeowners' insurance policy: Make sure your policy covers you for both fire and water damage, as these are two of the most common types of weather-related claims in California.
- Review your evacuation route: Familiarize yourself with your evacuation route in case you need to leave your home in an emergency.
- Pack an emergency kit: This should include food, water, medicine, first-aid supplies, flashlights, and batteries.
- Sign up for emergency alerts: Register for alerts through your county or city to receive updates during a disaster situation.
Protect Yourself From Climate Change
From more frequent and intense wildfires to longer, hotter summers, the Golden State is feeling the effects of a changing climate. And while there's no way to completely prevent the damage caused by climate change, there are some steps you can take to help mitigate the risk, including investing in one of the best home warranties for homeowners to protect yourself from unexpected repairs or replacements.
» Want more helpful maintenance tips? Check out these maintenance tips new homeowners discover after their first year.