With the official start of fall right around the corner and winter not far behind now is a good time to do some seasonal maintenance on your home. The shift between the seasons can be quick and unpredictable so it is important to prepare for both in order to avoid costly repairs and aggravation. Here are some tips for getting the interior, exterior, and garage ready for not only the fall but also the following winter months:
- Inspect your furnace- Hiring an HVAC professional to test for leaks and heating efficiency is a good start. It is also a good idea to keep extra air filters handy so that you can change them every few months. This will not only help keep your home at a comfortable temperature, thus decreasing the cost of your utility bill, but it will also help keep your home filled with clean air.
- Repair drafts- Air leaks around the windows and doors can account for 10% increase in your heating bills according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The easiest way to repair these air leaks is to use weather-stripping. Make sure you consistently inspect the stripping as it is likely you will have to reapply it throughout the fall and winter months. The next step is to repair damaged caulk around the windows, doors, and any entry points that may lead air into the home.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors- It is extremely important to replace the batteries in each of these detectors. Additionally, cleaning the detectors of any debris or dirt that they may have accumulated on them is very important to insure proper functionality. Make sure that you have multiple detectors throughout your home on every floor, including the basement.
- Clean the gutters- Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces as well as water to your basement. For this reason it is important to have your gutters cleaned of any debris and then covered with mesh guards to keep the debris from returning.
- Check your roof- One of the most important steps is checking your roof because a leaky roof can be a very frustrating, time consuming, and an expensive problem to have. A visual inspection might suffice but in order to properly check your roof you may want to hire a professional to look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles.
- Winterize outdoor faucets and sprinkler system -Our area can be prone to morning freezes so it is important to ensure that outside faucets and in-ground irrigations systems do not freeze and burst. You can prevent this by closing any shut-off valves and draining the line. In order to freeze proof your in ground irrigation system, follow the manufacturer’s procedure for draining and protecting it from winter damage.
Finally, it is important to make sure that your fall and winter equipment is serviced and ready to go at any time they might be needed. For example, make sure that an emergency generator is properly functioning in case of power outages. Furthermore, make sure there is extra gasoline on hand for your generator or snow blower so you are prepared for emergencies. It is extremely important to remember to make sure you store gasoline away from fire sources and out of children’s reaches. Following these steps is a great start to getting your home prepared for the start of the fall and winter seasons and before you know it, summer will be back!