With the changing of the seasons and school back in session, you may have some extra time to take care of things around the house. Now is the time to make sure your systems and appliances are ready for the season change. Check these fall maintenance tips off your list!
Check and see if your roof is ready for the colder weather. Curled, missing or loose shingles can let rain and moisture into your home and cause water damage. Look for any dips or sags, which may indicate a problem with the wood underneath your roof shingles. If the roof is more than 20 years old, you may want to schedule an inspection with a professional roofing contractor.
While you’re taking care of your roof, check your chimney. Don’t make the mistake of trying to fire up your fireplace without cleaning your chimney first. Dirt, debris, and even bird’s nests can become wedged in your chimney, preventing it from venting properly. This can be incredibly dangerous if not properly addressed, but a thorough cleaning will keep you safe.
Preventative maintenance is especially crucial for your home’s heating system. Fall is a great time to have your furnace checked and tuned up if necessary. Don’t wait for extreme temperatures to arrive due to service companies being slammed with emergency calls. Between tune-ups you can keep your system performing optimally by cleaning and/or replacing air filters.
4) ATTIC INSULATION
Checking insulation will have a major effect on heating and cooling during the winter. Make sure the insulation is thick and is leveled evenly all the way across the attic to keep hot air inside. If this happens, a home could end up with ice dams – which occur when a roof is too hot in the middle, melting the snow, only to have it refreeze down near the gutters.
5) WATER HEATER
First thing you should do is flush your water heater. Water heaters build up sediment in the bottom and should be flushed. If left un-flushed, the heat source can cook the sediment into a heavy brick of minerals and deposits. It not only diminishes the volume of water your tank can hold, but if heavy enough it will cause the tank to leak.
You’ll want to use your garage more as the temperatures get colder and you’ll store your vehicles inside. Lubricate your garage door’s springs, chain and joints. Make sure that the batteries for your garage door opener and garage door motor are replaced. You can also put weather stripping along the bottom of your garage door to trap in heat and keep small animals outside.
7) WINDOWS & DOORS
Save some energy around the house! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, all those little cracks around your windows and doors can add up to 10% of your heating bill. Go through your home and open windows to ensure the seal and caulking around the window frame is in good condition. Think of adding heavier drapery around windows that are extra drafty to help block some air infiltration.
This is one that you should save for last, as you’ll want to make sure all or most of the leaves have fallen. If you clean your gutters too early, then they’ll just fill back up with leaves and debris so wait as long as possible before cleaning them of all leaves and debris. Clogged gutters are one of the number one causes of ice dams and can cause very expensive damages.