Regular home maintenance is key for simplifying home ownership, and avoiding major repairs and unexpected costs. So follow these tips, and keep your home safe this fall and winter.
So, what should you do when you’re preparing your home for fall?
Here are our top 5 fall home maintenance tips!
1. WINTERIZE A/C SYSTEM
Your central air conditioner can be damaged by the ice, snow, debris, and other weather-related conditions of the fall and winter. That means you should winterize it before it gets too cold outside.
Winterizing your A/C is simple to do. Simply begin by removing grass, leaves, twigs, and other debris from the unit itself. Then, use a garden hose to rinse it, and remove more debris, dirt, and dust.
Allow the unit to dry, then cut off the electrical power at the electrical circuit, to keep it from switching on if a day is unexpectedly warm. After this, install rubber pipe insulation around the pipes to protect against freezing.
Finally, cover your unit with an A/C cover, to keep ice, snow, and other debris from building up on it – and to keep hibernating critters away from the A/C.
2. FLUSH HOT WATER HEATER
Flushing your water heater can help remove sediment from the tank, and prolong its lifespan, and fall is the perfect time to do this.
If you’re not handy and don’t like working with tools, you may want to hire a professional to do this. It’s not expensive, and the cost of a maintenance call is small, compared to the benefits of a longer water heater lifespan.
3. SHUT OFF EXTERIOR FAUCETS
If you don’t shut off the water supply to your exterior faucets from inside your house, the pipes leading to it may crack and freeze, which can cause leaks, and cost a lot of money to replace.
If you have a “frost-free” faucet, you may not need to do this. A good rule of thumb is that, if a faucet knob is perpendicular to the house, it’s frost-free, and uses what’s called a “frost-free sillcock” to prevent freezing – but make sure you double-check.
If your sillcock is not frost-free, there should be a shut-off valve for the exterior faucet, somewhere on the pipe that leads to it. Locate this, and shut it off. Then, open up the outside faucet, and then open the adjacent bleeder valve to let any remaining water drain out.
4. CHECK YOUR WINDOWS
You should check your windows for damage and loose frames, to make sure they’re in good shape before the winter. In addition, you may want to install additional weather stripping or caulking around them, to prevent drafts and keep your power bills low.
If you’re serious about energy conservation, you could also invest in a pair of energy-efficient cell blinds, as well as heavy blackout curtains. Combined, these window treatments can help insulate your windows, keeping you comfortable and reducing your power bill.
5. WEATHERPROOF YOUR DOORS
Weatherproofing helps prevent water from getting into your home, and also eliminates drafts which can reduce the effectiveness of your heating systems, and raise your utility bills.
Weatherproofing also can help prevent damage to the subfloor below your exterior doors. If moisture and dampness get inside, it can eat away at the floor material, and cause issues like mold and mildew.
GET READY FOR THE COLD WEATHER!
Seasonal home maintenance is very important. When fall is around the corner, you want to make sure that you prepare your home for the upcoming cool weather. Doing so can save money for a repair that could have been avoided.