Wouldn’t it be great if houses came with owner’s manuals? The learning curve on being a good homeowner can be a sharp one—and an expensive one, too.
Get yourself on a regular routine of home maintenance, and you can avoid catastrophes. After all, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
Bang out these ten fall maintenance projects, and you’ll earn your adulting merit badge.
#10 Drain your outdoor faucets.
Water expands when it freezes and frozen water leads to burst pipes. Take the time to turn off all of your outdoor faucets. Drain, disconnect and coil up your garden hoses. If you’re lucky enough to have a lawn irrigation system, the same goes.
#9 Clean out the downspouts and eyeball the roof.
Once the leaves have fallen, clean out your downspouts. While you’re up on the ladder, tighten up your hangers and downspout brackets. Eyeball the roof for loose or damaged shingles and get them replaced immediately.
#8 Change the direction of your ceiling fan.
Ceiling fans aren’t just for hot summer nights. Switch up the direction of your ceiling fan and you’ll create an upward draft that sends the warm air back down to where you want it.
#7 Make sure your fireplace is safe.
Before Santa travels down your chimney, it’s a smart move to send a licensed chimney sweep in there. Fireplaces buildup layers of creosote over time. Creosote is highly flammable and needs clearing away to avoid a chimney fire.
#6 Have the furnace serviced.
Your furnace is about to get a workout. Schedule a little spa day tune-up for the coming heating season.
Many heating companies offer an annual maintenance contract program that’ll do this check-up automatically, give you a discount for services, and offer priority scheduling if you run into trouble. It might be smart to invest in this kind of relationship—especially if you have an older system.
By the way, every two months your furnace filter is supposed to be changed. You’re doing that, right?
#5 Test out your winter equipment.
Got a snow shovel? Do you want to try to buy one when your car is snowed in, and every other person in town is also trying to buy one?
If you have a snowblower, you absolutely want to take care of that puppy. Do some TLC now, and you’ll be the big hero when that first storm comes.
At the very least, put a bag of rock salt by the door.
#4 Check the batteries on your smoke detector.
Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order. Check that no one in the house disconnected them the last time they burned dinner. Just saying.
While you’re at it, take a look at those flashlights in the junk drawer. In fact, while you are at it, take a look at that junk drawer!
#3 Store away your summer gear.
Outdoor furniture doesn’t last forever. Get a few more seasons out of your set by bringing it inside, washing the covers, and tightening up the screws. If space is at a premium, invest in waterproof furniture covers. You can pick up a cover for your grill, too.
#2 Put your storm windows back in.
It’s time to get ready for colder temperatures. When you take out your screen windows and doors, inspect for repairs. Give your window screens a good cleaning and spray them with a protective coating before storing them away in a dry part of the basement or garage.
#1 Install the most energy-efficient windows possible
While you’re changing out those screens, take a good critical look at the condition of your windows. The US Department of Energy says heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30% of home energy use.
Don’t spend another expensive year limping along with inefficient windows. Don’t recaulk, and certainly don’t try some internet workaround that involves plastic wrap (we’ve seen it all).
Fall is a great time to take on that window replacement job. A new set of windows on your home will bring you many years of beauty, comfort, and lower energy bills.
Window Nation has highly trained crews at the ready. Give us a call. We’ll get you ready for whatever the winter season brings.