Summer is almost over and autumn is right around the corner. With autumn comes carving pumpkins, apple picking , jumping in leaves and home maintenance. Though the first few things on the list are a lot more enjoyable, not enough can be said about the importance of readying your home for the cooler weather. Some of the easiest fall chores can save money and prevent major problems in the winter. Better Homes and Gardens came up with a fall checklist that will keep your house running smoothly.
1. First, inspect and clean those gutters. The roof gutter system is responsible for keeping gallons and gallons of water from touching your home’s exterior as well as the foundation wall. After you clean them out, it is a great idea to cover them with mesh gutter guards. This will prevent the debris from returning.
2. Seal gaps around your windows and doors. Weather stripping is easily the most cost effective way to keep the heating and cooling costs down. A simple way to check if your weather stripping is doing it’s job is simply by closing a door or window on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily your weather stripping needs to be updated. You can even take this time to check for missing or damaged caulk around the windows, doors and near entry points for cable, phone and gas. Seal them up tight so your house can stay cozy and your wallet full.
3. Check the roof. A leaky roof can be a big problem. Take care of the issue as quickly as you can before a minor drip turns into a major disaster.
4. While you’re at it check the walkways and steps. Although a damaged walkway is a hazard year round, the danger is compounded with ice. Most small jobs can be taken care of on your own. Major repair jobs should be saved for the experts.
5. Freshen up those filters. Filters trap the dust that would ordinarily end up on your furniture. Clogged filters make it hard to keep your home a comfortable temperature. Clean them once a month and your filters will be free and clear. Disposable filters can be vacuumed once before replacement. Use a soft brush if it is metal. Remove and wash it with a firm spray.
6. Check your furnaces. It is a good idea to have it inspected by a professional. Schedule the check-up in the fall before heating season begins. Screeches or whines may be a signal that belts connected to the blower motor are worn or damaged.
7. Fire extinguishers, batteries for your smoke detector and of course a general clean up around the furnace, is key to your homes safety.
Enjoy all the pleasures of autumn knowing that your home is prepared for the cold weather ahead.