Summer has now turned into fall, but is your home ready for it? Preventive maintenance can help keep your home running smoothly and save you money on your energy bill. Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or could just use a reminder, here are five things you should do to prepare your home for fall and winter.
Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter
Use caulk to reseal doorways and windows & replace weather stripping.
You may be surprised how big of a difference this makes on your energy bill! Warm air will escape out of any crack, so closely examine all of your windows and door frames. Apply caulking and weather stripping where necessary.
Clean out your gutters.
This is especially important if you live in an area that tends to get plenty of rain or snow. Leaves and debris that accumulate in your gutters won’t allow water to flow freely and cause all sorts of drainage issues. For this reason, it’s a good idea to recheck on this at least once every couple of weeks.
Also, consider putting in gutter guards over your drains if you haven’t done so already. This will help prevent debris from clogging up your drain pipes.
Have your heating system inspected by a professional.
While it’s a good idea to do this every year before the rainy season, this inspection is critical if you notice your HVAC becoming excessively noisy or not working as well as it once did. If so, you’re at risk of it failing entirely at any time. To give yourself peace-of-mind every year, consider an annual service contract with a reputable HVAC repair company. They will typically give a discount om their inspection each year.
And while this should be done multiple times every year, don’t forget to replace your furnace filters!
Inspect and clean your fireplace/chimney.
Take a look up into your fireplace flue and determine if the damper is opening and closing correctly. Also, make sure the flue is free of birds’ nests, leaves, or any other debris. While you’re at it, look to see if there are any cracked and/or missing bricks. If you’re unable to see daylight through the top of the chimney, there’s an obstruction that will likely cause the fireplace to not ventilate properly.
Contact a professional fireplace/chimney inspection if you notice anything concerning during your self-inspection. In addition, keep in mind that your fireplace flue should be swept clean of creosote build-up at least once every other year (hiring a professional chimney sweep is recommended).
Examine your roof.
This roof examination can be done from the ground (which is recommended for safety reasons). Grab a pair of binoculars and look for missing or damaged shingles, as they will need to be replaced immediately. Also look for masses of moss or lichen, as that could indicate the roofing is decaying underneath.