As the seasons are changing so does the maintenance needs for the interior and exterior of your home. Here is a quick reference guide as you walk around your home and inspect each area.
Interior of the Home
Change Air Filters
A dirty or clogged air filter can restrict airflow through the system. According to the Department of Energy, replacing a dirty, clogged filter can increase your system’s efficiency by 5 – 15%. It’s recommended to change your filters every 3 months. You’ll want your furnace functioning in tip-top shape during the upcoming chilly months, right now is the perfect time to have an expert perform a check-up
Clean the Oven
A regular cleaning removes the risk of fires, improves efficiency to the unit, and does not contaminate the food you are currently cooking.
Seal Doors and Windows
If there is a gap or slit somewhere in your home’s windows or doors, you’re letting the heat you paid for, literally, fly out of your home. As your parents probably said to you at some point, “you’re not paying to heat the entire neighborhood”, so save your money by picking up some weatherproof sealing to fill in any gaps.
Clean Chimney/Inspect Gas Fireplace
Check for a buildup of creosote, inspect for gas leaks, replace warn parts, and check to confirm there is no obstructions in the flue. It’s recommended to have the fireplace inspected yearly by a certified chimney professional.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Setting your thermostat to “schedule” or “program mode” will help reduce your energy bill as well, maintain the life of your furnace – it will prevent the unit from working so hard as it changes in temperature throughout the day.
Test Home Safety Devices
Make sure to test your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide monitors, and flashlights to ensure they’re still functioning properly, and replace with new batteries.
Exterior of the Home
Clean the Gutters
Fallen leaves and debris can clog your gutters, which can cause external water damage to your roof. So, grab a pair of gloves, hop on a ladder, and clear out all the foliage collected since your last cleaning.
Store Outdoor Furniture
Store your summer-living furniture in your garage, shed, or basement. If you don’t the extra storage, use a type of protective covering, such as a tarp or waterproof casing, over the furniture and secure the items in place.
Test Winter Equipment
If you have an emergency generator or snow blower, give it a test, and make sure it’s in good working order. Purchase extra gas to have on hand.
Do a Roof Check
You should be able to do at least a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. If you’re able and can do so safely, climb on up for a better view. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles.
Check home exterior for cracks or holes. Repair them yourself or hire a professional.
Check for Water Drainage
Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.
Turn off Faucets and Store Hoses
Drain garden hoses and disconnect from the outside spigots. Shut off exterior faucets, and if you have an older home, you may need to turn off the valve inside your home. Store hoses in a dry place so any residual water won’t freeze. Lastly, you’ll want to cover your outdoor faucets with an insulated cover.
Service Sprinklers and Irrigation System
Hire a certified professional to come out and drain/inspect the system. Perform any necessary repairs and mark sprinkler heads near snow removal areas.
Check for damaged limbs that may break or that are too close to power lines or the roof.
Cut back bushes, shrubs, and flowers as recommended for your climate zone.
Prepping your lawn now for the winter will save you from a larger cleanup in the spring. If you plant bulbs for spring, now’s the time to get them in the ground. Raking up the leaves now while it’s dry will be easier verses waiting till it starts raining. Applying fall lawn fertilizer will help prevent winter damage and spring weeds. Ask a local garden center or check online to find out which type of fertilizer you need and when to apply it. Finally, drain the gas from your lawnmower.
Organize the Shed
As your shed is filling up with summer items in storage it’s a good time to organize and clean out the shed. Move summer items to the back and winter stuff up front for better access. Also, remove any liquids that will freeze.