Seasonal home maintenance is something home owners know needs to be done, especially for cooler weather. Just by doing these easy little things can potential issues.
What are the best ways to prepare your home for the fall? Here are our top 7 fall home maintenance tips!
1. Furnace Maintenance
Your heating system needs to be serviced annually at a minimum. Early fall is the best time to do this, because then you can take care of any issues that come up to ensure it works smoothly through the winter months.
Here are a few easy tasks you can do to prepare your furnace for the winter:
- Replace the air filter – Your air filter should be changed every 3-6 months, or more if you have pets or live in a dusty environment.
- Clean the combustion chamber – Remove carbon buildup using a wire brush and shop vac. This prevents corrosion and helps make your furnace run more efficiently and last longer.
- Check the flue – Check the flue for leaks and seal them up with foil tape. Larger leaks and areas with corrosion may require a flue replacement.
- Clean floor vents – Vacuum the floor registers at least once a year. This ensures they are not blocked and keeps debris out of the furnace.
These are easy enough for practically anyone to do, and carrying out these tasks on your own instead of hiring a professional can save you some money.
2. Shut Off Exterior Faucets
Pipes freeze in the winter if you don’t shut off the water supply. This can cause expensive issues from leaks and water damage to replacing pipes.
“Frost-free” faucets use a special type of sillcock to prevent the pipes from freezing. Check to see if your faucets are frost-free.
If your exterior faucets are not frost-free, turn off the water supply using the shut-off valve which is located on the pipe it’s connected to. After you’ve cut off the water supply, turn the faucet on to let any water drain out.
3. Flush Your Hot Water Heater
If you’re not handy, this is one maintenance tasks that you may want to hire a professional to do. It shouldn’t be very expensive, and worth having done.
Flushing your hot water heater removes any sediment in the tank and helps to prolong its lifespan.
4. Winterize A/C System
Your A/C system is susceptible to damage from ice, snow, and debris. So winterizing your system is important to do before the winter.
How to Winterize Your A/C
- Remove leaves and debris from the unit.
- Rinse with a garden hose.
- Let it dry
- Cut off the power at the electrical circuit. This will keep it from switching back on if a day is unexpectedly warm.
- Install rubber pipe insulation to protect pipes from freezing.
- Cover your unit with a cover or plywood, to keep snow, ice, and debris from piling up.
5. Fireplace & Chimney Maintenance
Your fireplace and chimney should be cleaned and checked every year to make sure they’re safe to use. This is another time that is usually a good idea to call a professional because they will be able to tell if there are any issues.
It’s important to inspect your chimney regularly because it’s a known weak point in the roof and prone to leaks. A regular inspection every year helps ensure that it’s not leaking.
6. Look for Cracks in Your Driveway
Small pavement cracks can turn into huge gaps due to thermal expansion during seasonal changes. That’s why fall is the perfect time to check for cracks in your pavement. Small cracks can be filled with caulk but if there are a lot of cracks you might consider re-sealing your driveway.
7. Weatherproof Your Doors & Windows
Weatherproofing is the process of examining the weather stripping and gaps in your doors and windows and determining if it needs to be replaced.
Look at the edges along your doors and windows. If you can see light coming through, you can use caulk to fill up minor gaps. Larger gaps may require backer rod to fill in.
Check to see if the weather stripping is damaged and replace if necessary.
Get Ready For The Cold Weather!
Just like your car, consistent maintenance is important for avoiding unexpected repairs to your home. Follow these tips to keep your home in great shape.