Fall is in the air. The temperature is dropping, leaves are changing colors and the days are becoming noticeably shorter. For many people, fall means getting ready for Halloween, hot apple cider and spending endless hours raking leaves.
But fall is also a time when you should be thinking about getting your home ready for the shorter days and cooler weather. There are a variety of tasks you should do now so your house doesn’t fall apart when winter hits.
Here’s a list of some ways to get your home ready for fall.
- Drain and remove your garden hoses from faucets. The cold winter weather can freeze any water in the hose and cause water to back up into the pipes. The result will be a burst pipe and a big mess.
- Check your windows. Are they still sealed up tight? Are there areas where caulk is missing? Leaky windows can let cold air into your home, causing your furnace to work harder than it needs to.
- Clean out your gutters. Gutters that are clogged with debris will overflow and the water might leak into your house. Make sure that the areas around the downspouts are also clear of debris so water doesn’t get backed up.
- Clear debris around your HVAC unit. Debris can make your HVAC unit work harder than it needs to by blocking the air flow. It should be clear on all sides. Also check to make sure debris hasn’t collected on the inside of the unit. Call an HVAC technician to perform an inspection (which you should be doing every fall and spring).
- Replace your air filters. This should be done a several times per year. A new filter will let the air move easier, making your system more efficient. It will also keep dust and allergens out of the air.
- Have your furnace inspected by an HVAC professional. Don’t get left in the cold when your furnace breaks down in January. A technician will vacuum it out, check the electrical connections and check to see if anything needs to be replaced. The technician will also test your thermostat to make sure it’s working properly.
- Check your plumbing for leaks. Go around your home and look at the pipes connecting your toilets, sinks and showers/bathtubs to see if there are any leaks. Look for standing water or damp floors and walls. If you have insulation on any of your pipes, now is a good time to make sure it’s still covering the pipes to protect them from freezing.
- Test and replace smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries as needed. This one is self-explanatory.
- Check the inside of your windows. You can check for drafts by feeling around the edges of the window. An easier way is to hold a candle or lighter around the seams (be very careful). If the flame bends or starts dancing around, then air is coming in from the outside.
If you keep up with your home’s maintenance throughout the year, then you shouldn’t find too many surprises when getting your house ready for fall. Having your HVAC system inspected is probably one of the more important tasks you should complete because it will be what keeps you warm over the long winter months.
If you’re getting ready for fall, give us a call to come out and inspect your HVAC system. Our technicians are fully licensed, experienced and will help you keep your home in tip-top shape. And if you want to have some apple cider ready for us, we won’t complain.