Fall is upon us!
With the onset of fall, many people eagerly anticipate the arrival of pumpkin-flavored items on store shelves, corn mazes, and a reprieve from the summer heat. However, what everyone should truly look forward to is the opportunity to catch up on all the home maintenance that may have been neglected during the fun-filled summer months.
Here are ten tips to ensure your home successfully weathers the changing seasons:
Get Your HVAC System Serviced: As temperatures begin to drop, it's time to switch from A/C to heating. Covering your A/C unit for the winter can protect it from harsh weather. Servicing your furnace can extend its lifespan, ensuring it functions when needed. Don't forget to stock up on replacement filters and the right bus fuse for your furnace.
Clean Your Gutters: Fall brings an abundance of leaves, so ensure your gutters are free from debris. This prevents future water damage by allowing water to flow freely. While cleaning, inspect your roof, looking for damaged shingles and chimney, as well as cracks in caulking around windows.
Fix All Cracks: Identify and seal cracks in caulking around trim, windows, and concrete. Even small cracks can worsen during winter, potentially causing significant issues. Proper sealing prevents moisture from infiltrating your home, as water can be its greatest enemy.
Disconnect All Water Hoses and Drain Exterior Pipes: Freezing temperatures can cause pipes and hoses to burst. Drain hoses and either hire a lawn company or use a sprinkler system blowout kit to protect your sprinkler system. While hoses are easy to replace, a damaged sprinkler system is neither easy nor cheap to repair.
Have Fireplace/Chimney Serviced and Cleaned: With colder weather, people tend to gather around the fireplace. Ensure it's in working order, and have the chimney inspected and cleaned, especially if you have a wood-burning fireplace that can accumulate soot and pose fire hazards.
Get Snow Removal Equipment Ready: While the weather may be pleasant now, snow is on the horizon. Prepare snow shovels and removal equipment. Consider alternatives to rock salt with sodium chloride, as it can damage concrete. Calcium Magnesium Acetate is a viable option.
Slope Ground Away from House: To prevent melting snow from causing damage, ensure that the ground around your house slopes away from it. This helps prevent leaks into basements and foundation damage as the snow thaws.
Reverse Fans: Many fans have a reverse switch to push hot air down. This is especially beneficial for rooms with tall ceilings, as it redistributes heat effectively. In summer, rotate the fan counter-clockwise for a cooling effect, and clockwise in winter to push down warm air.
Check for Drafts: Identify and eliminate drafts in your home to improve efficiency and save on energy costs. Use a lighter or a piece of paper next to windows and doors; if they flicker or move, there's a draft. Replace seals and caulking around doors and windows, and consider heavy curtains for drafty windows.
Cleaning Isn't Just for Spring: While spring cleaning is customary, fall is an excellent time for home maintenance. Store summer furniture and toys while organizing and cleaning. Ensure essential fall and winter items are easily accessible for emergencies. With more time spent indoors, a thorough cleaning can create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
Fall is indeed a wonderful season, but it's crucial to prepare your home for the approaching frigid temperatures. By following these steps, you can save money and avoid future headaches.