Today officially marks the first day of Fall and as many homeowners know, the changing of seasons usually brings about a laundry list of “to-do’s” on the home front. Get ahead of the game with some of these simple tasks to get your home prepped and ready for Autumn!
Turn off Exterior Faucets: Un-drained water in pipes can freeze easily, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Aim to disconnect all garden hoses to drain any water that remains in faucets to avoid excess water from freezing overtime. If you don’t have frost-proof faucets, turn off the shut-off valve(s) inside your home.
Clean-up Leaves: The HVAC unit is an important operating system of your home. With the compressor part of the air conditioner located on the exterior of your home, it can begin working inefficiently if there is any debris or leaves blocking it. Break out the vacuum or use your hands to remove any debris from the bottom. Wear gloves if you are using your hands for manual cleaning and always be sure to turn off your main breaker to be safe.
De-clutter the Gutters: Leaves clogging your gutters can lead to huge problems at any point of the year. During the cooler months, excess leaves can cause water to backup into your attic and even your basement. Be sure to pay close attention to your gutters year round, but specifically in the fall and beginning of winter as trees begin to shed their leaves. It is important to pay particular attention to the sections of your gutters that have branches directly over them, as those areas will need the most attention.
Give your Furnace a Physical: It is a good idea to give your furnace some TLC at least once a year. Scheduling a tune-up will keep your furnace clean and running efficiently, while also catching small problems before they escalate into even bigger problems. Some signs that suggest you may need your furnace inspected earlier, include:
- Noisy Belts – Screeches and/or whining sounds could be a sign that belts connected to the blower motor are either worn or damaged.
- Inadequate Performance – If you notice your heating system is not working as effective as it used to, it is possible you could be facing a few problems. Your heating ducts may be blocked, the blower motor could be failing or the burners may be misaligned. Also, consistently check in on your furnace filter to ensure that it is clean!
- Unusual Behavior – If your furnace is behaving erratically, a faulty thermostat or misadjusted furnace may be the root of the problem!
Also, make sure to check in on your furnace filter to ensure that it is clean!
Driveway Duty: Damaged driveways, walkways and steps are hazardous year round but are especially dangerous in the fall and winter months as the weather turns chilly and icy. Fixing these problems now will alleviate you from experiencing further headache as winter arrives in full force. Walk your exterior walk-ways, steps and driveway to search for cracks more than 1/8 inch wide, uneven sections, loose railings on steps and other hazards such as disintegrated asphalt and wash-out materials on loose-fill pathways.
Button-Up and Weatherize: If you experience air leaks around windows and doors in your home, it may be time to “button-up.” Gaps in caulk and weather-stripping not only disrupt the comfort of your home but also lead to increased heating and cooling costs. Check for missing and/or damaged caulk around your home’s various entry points (doors, windows, etc..). Seal any gaps or damaged areas with a suitable caulk.