So, fall weather is setting in, children are picking out their costumes, and the morning air carries the brisk promise of an early autumn. For homeowners, this is the perfect time to get your home ready for the cold winter months.
Even one critical overlooked item can leave you in the cold, soaking wet, smoked out from a hearth fire gone bad, or all three. In the interest of protecting not only your investment but your loved ones as well, it’s time to give you a working autumn house maintenance checklist to work from to prevent any catastrophes that can occur otherwise when you really don’t need them to.
Check, Clean, and Possibly Replace Your Rain Gutters
While trees can bring out the natural beauty of a neighborhood, they can also present a risk to homeowners in the form of discarded leaves. While raking them from your yard is something most homeowners already do, a large number of them forget that those same leaves are clogging up their rain gutters. You know, the convenient contraptions that trap water from your roof and safely disperses it back to the ground in a controlled fashion.
When these gutters become clogged with dead leaves, they can not only clog your drain pipe and result in all of that water making its way into your home, but also play host to a variety of pests and lead to wood rot.
This is also the perfect time to check your gutters to ensure that they are in good working order. Are the support brackets sound? No water leaking behind the gutter? If you find your gutters in desperate need of replacement, do it now because later will be too late.
Inspect Your Windows and Doors for Air Leaks
Over time, settling of the foundation and aging of building materials can lead to energy leaks.In the wintertime, it will behoove you to inspect all of your doors, windows, and any other openings leading to the outside.
For every drafty room or window, heat is allowed to escape as it rises, which is money out of your pocket. Not only that, but it also, for lack of a better phrase, leaves the door open for pests, snow, rain, and other malefactors to enter your home.
Short of repairing loose or damaged frames and reinstalling weather stripping as needed, some heavy curtains will help keep that heat where you need it most: in your home.
Check Your Furnace Filter
This one is not only important for getting the most out of your HVAC system, but it’s also important because a dirty filter can reintroduce many pollutants into your indoor environment. Most furnaces work by pulling in outside air, pushing it through a filter, heating it, and redistributing it throughout the house.
This can lead to the redistribution of pet dander, carbon monoxide, and more. The filter is located where the duct that draws in outside air connects to the HVAC system. Inspect yours, locate the filter, and be sure to replace it if need be. Just be sure to install the new filter with the arrows pointing with airflow as opposed to against it.