Pumpkin spice and apple cider treats have arrived! Performing these maintenance tasks preventatively minimizes your risks of having to deal with challenges during the bitter cold of winter. Do a bit of prep work now to prevent headaches and potentially costly repairs down the line. Use this checklist to prepare your home for autumn.
Winterize Your Air Conditioner
When it’s time to switch off your air conditioner for the season, take a few minutes to remove twigs, leaves, and grass clippings around the system. To guard against freezing, place foam pipe covers around exposed pipes.
Inspect Your Furnace
As you prepare to switch from cool toheat, have an HVAC professional check your system. Contact Arendosh Heating to inspect your heating system’s efficiency, test for leaks, and change the filter. While we’re there, we’ll tell you what you can check each month to ensure your system is working as effectively and efficiently as possible;
Test Your Home Safety Devices
Autumn is a great time to test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices to ensure they’re working properly. As a best practice, homeowners should test smoke alarms monthly and replace them every 10 years.
Weather Strip Windows and Doors
By sealing gaps around your doors and windows, you can make your home feel warmer and save 10 to 15 percent on your energy bills. However, weather stripping deteriorates over time, so it’s a good idea to inspect it every fall. Don’t forget your garage door! Make sure they’re a tight seal at the bottom of the door to prevent drafts.
Keep Vents Clear
When you switch from cool to heat, move furniture blocking air vents in the floors or walls. You want that warm air from your furnace keeping your family cozy, not trapped behind or under furniture. If needed, rearrange furniture and rugs to allow for unrestricted air flow.
Trim Your Trees
Fall is a great time to accomplish outdoor work that you can’t complete when it’s snowy or icy outside. Trim branches back where they may come into contact with power lines or your roof. Check for any limbs which are dead and prune them to avoid falling limbs in a winter storm.
Rake Your Leaves
A blanket of fall foliage on your lawn might look beautiful but leaving too many leaves on your lawn throughout the winter season will inhibit spring growth. Make an event of it and get the family involved. Rake leaves into a pile and let the kids toss them around and jump on the heap. Then recruit their help to scoop them into removal bags. Reward everyone for a job well done with some special fall treats when you head back inside.
And speaking of your lawn, did you know that now is the best time to fertilize and reseed bare patches in your lawn? It’s true! Your grass may not be growing as quickly these days, but it’s its roots are. Fertilizing and seeding now will give your lawn flourishing the spring. Boost your plans for a lush, abundant spring even further by visiting your local nursery and picking up some spring bulbs to plant.
Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts
Don’t let fall’s colorful leaves clog your home’s gutters. Be sure to remove any nests, leaves, and other debris. Clogged gutters can cause damaged exterior surfaces and can lead to water in your basement. Check your downspouts, including the joints, to ensure water flows freely through them. Note that downspouts should extend at least five feet away from your house to prevent foundation problems.
Inspect for Needed Exterior Repairs
Walk around your home looking for any cracks in the exterior walls or foundation. Caulk around the areas where your siding meets the masonry, as well as anywhere wiring or pipes come into the house. Check your roof for missing or lose shingles. Contact a professional roofer to fix any damage and avoid a leaky roof from melting snow. In addition to keeping heat in and cold out, sealing your home now means avoiding additional damage that can be caused by water freezing and expanding in cracks, which makes any existing damage worse. Finally, filling in even the smallest of holes and cracks helps keep any critters seeking warmth from sneaking into your home.
Clean Your Chimney
If you have a fireplace, don’t get caught off guard by starting your first fire only to findout your chimney isn’t in clean, working order. Call a chimney sweep to ensure your chimney is safe and that your flue has a tight seal so that it’s not leaking heat when not in use.
Check Outdoor Walkways and Steps
Repair or replace any faulty boards in wooden porches now, so that you don’t find yourself doing repairs in the cold this winter. Prevent tripping hazards and additional damage caused by freezing water by filling cracks in driveways and sidewalks.
Prep Summer Equipment for Storage
Inspect and safely store any equipment you won’t use again until the spring, including lawnmowers, weed whackers, chain saws, and leaf blowers (after leaf removal, of course!). Don’t forget to drain these items of gasoline, as well as draining hoses of water.
Preventative maintenance is key. By tackling this simple fall checklist, you’ll make the season more pleasant and avoid any unwanted surprises or costs. Be smart and be safe by investing some time now to make your home a cozy winter haven for your family. Not sure how to check something or want a professional’s guidance? Contact us at Arendosh Heating. We’re happy to help.
See the Savings for Yourself
Heating and cooling are typically a homeowner’s largest energy expense, accounting for up to half of the utility budget. Therefore, you’d be wise to have the most efficient heating and cooling systems as possible. Visit the Lennox Energy Savings Calculator to see for yourself how a new system will provide you with an amazingly comfortable indoor environment that also saves you money every month!