Fall has arrived, and with it, a list of maintenance items that all homeowners should accomplish before the snow starts falling. Fall home maintenance should be part of any homeowner’s repertoire but in case this is your first winter in your new home or you just need a refresher course, here are six home maintenance tips to prepare your home for fall.
1. Have Your Heating System Checked
While geothermal heat pumps don’t require yearly maintenance by a technician, we do recommend you turn your heat pump to heating mode before the temperatures drop to make sure everything is in proper working order. If your heat pump isn’t pumping heat, won’t turn on, or is tripping off after a period of time, have it checked by a technician before the weather turns cold. By getting to this task early you’ll beat the rush of homeowners trying to get their systems serviced in the cold weather, and you’ll avoid having to use expensive backup heat.
2. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
In the summer, your ceiling fan should be in downward draft mode to provide a cool breeze on hot days, but in the fall you should reverse that and put it into upward draft mode. This mode will redistribute the heat pooling near your ceiling, which will lower your energy bills.
3. Clean Your Gutters
Gutter cleaning is an essential part of outdoor home maintenance. It’s important that you don’t skip this home maintenance task because clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams. These ice formations can prevent melting snow from draining off the roof, which will cause roof leakage and water damage. First, wait until the leaves have completely fallen, otherwise you’ll end up performing this chore twice. Once you’re ready, clear gutters and downspouts of fallen leaves and debris, and then flush them with water.
4. Check Caulking Around Your Windows and Doors
Sealing your home up to prevent heat loss is a great way to lower your energy bills. To do so, check the areas where masonry meets siding, around doors and windows, and where piping and wires enter your home. If the caulking looks dried out and cracked, add a new layer. Not only will caulking windows and doors decrease your energy bills, it’ll also prevent moisture from entering your home and causing mold.
5. Prepare Your Backyard
Backyard winter maintenance is a big topic, but here are a few key areas that need to be addressed: put away patio furniture, wrap cedar hedges to prevent snow damage, and clean yard care equipment and put it in storage. Make sure you empty soil from clay pots, because once they freeze, they could crack. In the same vein, drain your garden hoses and store them indoors, and shut off your outdoor water valves. Any water left in either of these items could cause cracking when they freeze.
6. Prepare Your Snow Removal Equipment
If you live in an area that receives snow, you’ll be happy that you prepared for the fluffy white stuff before it starts to fall. Make sure you have plenty of salt on hand, make sure your shovel and ice pick can withstand another season, and tune up your snow blower.
Performing routine home maintenance will prolong your home’s life and prevent costly repairs down the road. By following these easy home maintenance tips, you’ll be prepared for everything winter has to throw at you.