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Fall is quickly approaching, so it’s time to say goodbye to summer and get your house ready for the change of season. Aside from dusting off your rake, here are a few other things to add to your fall home maintenance list to better prepare you for the upcoming chilly months.
Inspect Air Flow
Time to rid your vents of any dust build up. As messy as it may be, check your air vents, dryer vents, baseboard heating vents, as well as your exterior HVAC unit and remove any dust you may find. Having clear vents will promote your air flow and better heat your home, also allowing you to save money on heat in the fall or winter. Have a professional inspect and service your heating unit and change out the existing filters if it’s needed. Also, have them do a test run to ensure that everything is in working order.
Prepare for a Fire
Fall is the perfect time to cozy up next to the fireplace – as long as the fireplace is functioning correctly. Now is the time to inspect the fireplace, flue, and chimney and clean out any debris or pests that may block the airflow. Clear out any remaining ash and soot and you should be ready to stack your logs. If you have a gas or electric fireplace, have them inspected and replace any parts necessary.
Trim the Trees
Take a look at the trees surrounding your home and trim back any branches that could potentially cause damage if a storm hits. Remember that snow and ice can weigh a branch down, so take that into account when determining what needs to be trimmed. It’s much easier to trim some branches than it is to repair a roof or window.
Clean the Gutters
It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. In the summer months, gutters tend to get clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris. As fall approaches, these need to be ready to direct any rainfall or snow away from your roof and the exterior of your home. Be sure to wear gloves, as gutters also make a good home for pests. Once they’re cleared, run some water through the gutters and verify that there’s no excess water puddling near the foundation of your home. Excess puddling can cause foundation issues, so redirect the water if need be.
Check your Detectors
It’s a good idea to change out the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors a few times a year. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are especially important in the colder months since the windows are closed and furnaces and fireplaces are working overtime.
Check to ensure that the caulking around your windows and the weather stripping on your doors are in good shape. Chilly drafts can lead to energy inefficiency and a very large heating bill. Open the windows throughout the house and caulk any areas that aren’t protected, and replace any weather stripping that may be tattered. Make sure everything is sealed up tight so your home can be warm and cozy when the chill arrives.
Check the Plumbing
Be prepared when the first freeze arrives, as cold temperatures can lead to frozen pipes. Make sure all exposed pipes are insulated and that outdoor spigots are covered. Remove, drain, and store your hoses away for the spring.
Being prepared for the upcoming fall season will allow you to enjoy all that the season has to offer. In doing these easy maintenance tips, you’ll be sure to be ready for the chilly months ahead. What are your fall preparations?