Fall Home Maintenance that Will Save You Money
Fall is here! This season is considered by many as the most enjoyable – the weather cools off but isn’t too cold to be uncomfortable. The leaves turn colors and create the most beautiful scenery everywhere you go. Fall flavors like pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon are back in stores and restaurants. Sports fans everywhere are gathering around the TV to watch their favorite football teams. And soon the holidays will be upon us!
For homeowners, this season also means some changes are ahead and it’s time to weatherize your home! Here are some important steps you should take to make sure your home is properly maintained:
Check your heating system
It’s recommended that you schedule a yearly heating inspection before the temperatures start to really drop, even if you haven’t had any issues prior. The reason this is important is that regular inspections to make sure your heating system is in proper working condition not only help to keep your electric costs lower, it also helps you to avoid a broken down furnace in the dead of winter. An inspector will make sure that all parts are in good condition, the filter is clean, and the furnace is heating at optimal levels. Plus, preventative maintenance will save you money in the long run, as waiting until you do have a problem could wind up costing you a lot more. Not only will you have to deal with repair or even in some cases replacement costs, heating system malfunctions can sometimes cause bigger problems for your home – a furnace which is not properly maintained can create hazards such as fires or flooding, which will cost you even more in home repairs. To avoid all these issues and save the most money, make sure you are having yearly maintenance conducted on your heating systems!
Check your windows and doors
Another important aspect of making sure your home is prepared for cooler temperatures is making sure your windows and doors don’t have any cracks or gaps where heat could escape. Seal any gaps with weather-stripping and replace any cracked panes, and this too will help to keep your electric bill down in the colder months.
Inspect your chimney and fireplace
Of course this will only apply to homes that have these features, but the importance of maintaining them if you do is huge. Annual chimney maintenance removes flammable creosote, the major cause of chimney fires, and identifies other performance problems such as a blocked flue from debris or broken dampers that keep smoke from escaping.
Check the roof and gutters
Make sure your roof is ready for winter weather by examining it for loose shingles, damage and debris as well as making sure the gutters are clear and in good condition. If you have trees overhanging your home, debris build up and shade can cause dry rot, which when it starts to rain will lead to issues like leaking and further damage to the rotted areas. Better to do a regular roof inspection to keep your roof up to par, than have a major leak or deterioration to your roof that requires a full replacement before the full life of the roof is up. Your roof is much like your car in that regular maintenance will get you many more “miles” out of it so don’t neglect it!
Clear out unused fuel
If you have equipment that uses fuel during the warmer months like lawn mowers or propane grills, it’s suggested that you empty these unused fuel tanks out before storing them for the winter as they can build up sediment and result in clogged fuel lines. For fuel tanks that will be in use during the winter (snowblowers, etc.), make sure you store them in safe, out-of-reach places to children.
Make sure to test back-up generators
If you employ a back-up generator in times of severe weather and power outages, make sure you test your generator out before the colder months arrive so that it’s ready and in good working condition. Also make sure you use good safety precautions while running your generator, like not running it in an enclosed space so as to prevent carbon monoxide dangers.
Keeping your house maintained and ready for the harsher months will ensure the longevity of your home, and should you ever decide to sell, it will promote a higher value for purchase.